The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is ahead of schedule.
As unfair as those Stephen Curry comparisons may have seemed, Trae Young’s volatile post-All-Star stretch shows why they were created. The 20-year-old sharpshooter has rocketed around 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game because intermission when hitting 2.9 triples each night at a 41.4 per clip.
Then, there is fellow freshman Kevin Huerter performing a good impression of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a full-time starting gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent out of space. For contrast, the freshman version of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-range bombs while draining 41.4 percent out.
John Collins may not fit the Warriors’ mold, however, the second-year big man might be the ideal player about whom no one speaks. He’s one of only nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, along with his leap as a three-point shooter (0.9 threes each night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there is lots of helium left his upside.
It is tough to say how many different keepers are on the roster, although Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman both offer Golden State-style flexibility at both ends. The fiscal books are mostly clean, save for Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million player option and Miles Plumlee’s $12.5 million salary for next season. The Hawks could also amass as many as three additional first-rounders in the coming years.
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