After 10 consecutive playoff appearances, the Hawks are entering the second year of their rebuild. While the playoffs may be out of reach this year, there certainly are several things for Hawks fans to look forward to this season.
The most obvious bright spot in an otherwise dark situation is Trae Young. The Oklahoma product struggled early in the summer league, but he’s turned it around in recent preseason play. It should be interesting to watch a Young/Collins pick and roll, hopefully that’s a duo that will be intact for years to come.
Young isn’t the only rookie to keep an eye on this season. Drafting Young, Spelman, and Huerter was a thinly veiled attempt by GM Travis Schlenk to replicate Golden State’s Curry/Thompson/Green combination. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Huerter will get, as he’ll be competing with Tyler Dorsey and Kent Bazemore for valuable minutes. The same can be said for Omari Spelman, the stretch four. He will be battling Collins, Alex Len, Dewayne Dedmon, and Vince Carter (who Coach Pierce has stated will be seeing minutes at the four) for minutes in a crowded frontcourt.
Taurean Prince is the player on the Hawks roster that’s the most intriguing at this point in his career. His scoring output has increased in each of his three seasons in the NBA, peaking at 14.2 points per game last season. He’s drawn comparisons to Demare Carroll, but it will be interesting to see if Prince can expand his offensive game in ways Carroll never has.
There are three things that Hawks fans should look forward to this season. First, the development of the young talent on the roster. Second, the possibility of moving veterans for assets. Lastly, the team positioning themselves to draft RJ Barrett or Cameron Reddish this summer.
Oh, and Vince Carter jerseys. Those are pretty cool.