The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is ahead of schedule.
As unfair as these Stephen Curry comparisons could have appeared, Trae Young’s explosive post-All-Star stretch demonstrates 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 each night in a 41.4 percent clip.
Afterward, there is fellow freshman Kevin Huerter doing 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 comparison, the freshman edition of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-lived bombs while clearing 41.4 percent outside.
John Collins may not fit the Warriors’ mould, however, the second-year big man may be the best player about whom nobody speaks. He is one of just nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, and his leap as a three-point shooter (0.9 threes per night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there’s plenty of helium left in his upside.
It’s hard to say how a number of other keepers are on the roster, though 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 amass as many as three extra first-rounders from the coming years.
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