Atlanta Hawks

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 up to 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game since intermission while hitting 2.9 triples per night in a 41.4 percent clip.
Then, there is fellow freshman Kevin Huerter doing a good impression 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 comparison, the freshman version of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-lived bombs while clearing 41.4 percent outside.
John Collins may not match the Warriors’ mould, but the second-year big man may be the ideal player about whom nobody speaks. He’s one of only nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and eight rebounds, and his jump since a three-point shooter (0.9 threes each night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there’s plenty of helium left in his upside.
It is 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 mostly clean, save for Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million player option and Miles Plumlee’s $12.5 million salary for next year. The Hawks may also collect as many as three extra first-rounders from the next several years.

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