The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is Before 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 up to 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game since intermission when hitting 2.9 triples per 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 starting gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent from space. For contrast, the freshman version of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-range bombs while clearing 41.4 percent outside.
John Collins might not fit the Warriors’ mold, but the second-year major man might be the best player about whom no one talks. He is one of just nine subscribers averaging at least 19 points and eight rebounds, along with his jump 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 hard to say how many different keepers are on the roster, though Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman both provide Golden State-style versatility at either 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 could also collect as many as three extra first-rounders from the next several years.
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