The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is ahead of schedule.
As unfair as those Stephen Curry comparisons could have seemed, Trae Young’s explosive post-All-Star stretch demonstrates why they were made. The 20-year-old sharpshooter has rocketed up to 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game because intermission when hitting 2.9 triples each night in a 41.4 per clip.
Then, there’s fellow freshman Kevin Huerter doing a good impression of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a fulltime beginning gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent out of distance. For comparison, the freshman edition of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-lived bombs while draining 41.4 percent out.
John Collins might not fit the Warriors’ mould, however, the second-year big man might be the best player about whom no one speaks. He is one of only nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, along with his jump since a three-point shooter (0.9 threes per night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there is plenty of helium left his upside.
It’s hard to say how many other keepers are on the roster, although Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman equally provide Golden State-style versatility at both ends. The financial books are largely clean, save for Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million player option and Miles Plumlee’s $12.5 million salary for next season. The Hawks may also amass as many as three additional first-rounders from the next several years.
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