The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is ahead of schedule.
As unfair as these 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 because intermission while hitting 2.9 triples per night in a 41.4 percent clip.
Afterward, there’s fellow freshman Kevin Huerter performing a strikingly good belief of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a full-time beginning 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 edition of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-range bombs while clearing 41.4 percent out.
John Collins may not fit the Warriors’ mold, however, the second-year big man may be the best player about whom nobody speaks. He is one of just nine subscribers averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, along with his jump since a three-point shooter (0.9 threes each night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there is plenty of helium left his upside.
It’s tough to say how a number of other keepers are on the roster, although Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman equally provide Golden State-style flexibility 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 may also collect as many as three extra first-rounders in the next several years.
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