DRKB21 wrote:If you rebuild correctly, you don't make yourself a **** team intentionally.
Where's this guy.
The Salt Lake TribuneI like the Hawks way more than I should for a 25-48 team
It starts with Trae Young...He’s very good at manipulating defenses and finding the open man, and while he’s really bad defensively, his offense seems like it will be at the level where he’ll be able to stay on the floor and star for the Hawks.
John Collins is nice, too. And after the Jazz’s front office wanted Kevin Huerter in last year’s draft, he’s showing why. He’s a perfect modern-day shooting guard, with the ability to shoot in all sorts of different circumstances on the court. He has some playmaking ability, too.
Also, their coach, Pierce, is wonderful. Maybe it’s just that he’s in the first year of his tenure as a head coach, but he’s so transparent and open about his game-planning and tactics. It’s not in a way that’s damaging to his team, but it’s legitimately educational for us in the media and gives us some insight into what his team is doing and why.
His teams are also very analytically savvy on both ends of the floor; they take the right kind of shots.
They’ve been trending upwards as their young players have gotten better throughout the season.
USA TodayThe Atlanta Hawks...have gone about their rebuild with credibility.
Let’s start in the front office with general manager Travis Schlenk and his staff. Schlenk, who was instrumental as an assistant GM in Golden State’s emergence, has proven himself adept at drafting and finding players who can contribute. [T]he Hawks get Dallas’ pick as long as it’s not a top-five pick, giving Schlenk multiple chances to get a quality player or trade for one. And don’t forget, the Hawks have cap space this summer, so...they have a chance to lure players who would want to play with Young, Collins.
Atlanta has a renovated arena, a new state-of-the-art practice facility and top-notch training, medical and sports science staffs.
They have a commitment to their young players on and off the court, giving them great player development instruction and veterans to guide them through the early stretch of their NBA careers.
Schlenk deserves credit for hiring head coach Lloyd Pierce, who made his name as a player development coach. Just look at Young now compared to Young at the start of the season. The work is obvious.
If you watch the Hawks, you can see the results. Forget the record. Look at individual development. This is a team headed in the right direction.
SI.comSilver Linings for Non-Playoff Teams
Atlanta Hawks – Trae Young is legit
Similar to Sexton, Trae Young couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in his first half of the season. The Oklahoma product shot just 27.5% from three, worrying some that his summer-league issues would continue through the rest of his rookie season. The concerns dissipated once the calendar turned to 2019. Young paired his elite playmaking with a 40.4% mark from three since Feb. 1, closing the gap on Luka Doncic on the MVP ROY race. Hawks GM Travis Schlenk will likely be questioned over the Young-Doncic trade for the next decade-plus. Though if Atlanta can land a quality piece with their additional draft pick, the deal should end up as a winner for both franchises.
But the NBA should really be rooting for Zion in Atlanta. Last year's lottery changes were conceived for a number of reasons.
"I think that this [tanking] issue may be solved, to a certain extent, in the marketplace of ideas," Adam Silver said at All-Star Weekend, "depending on how this now goes over the next year or two and what the results are of some of these long-term rebuilding programs."
What Silver was really saying at All-Star Weekend is that he wants teams like the Hawks to win the lottery.
Consider Atlanta's profile this year:
- first-year coach Lloyd Pierce has helped cultivate a healthy environment for development,
- players have made progress month after month,
- and the team has eschewed any kind of full-scale teardown that would have meant selling off credible contributors like Dewayne Dedmon, Kent Bazemore, Vince Carter, and third-year Taurean Prince.
Instead the Hawks have sprinkled those veterans alongside a bunch of young players and tried to win every night.
It’s been pretty great. As the season winds down, Atlanta’s games are reliably fun to watch, Huerter, Young, and Collins are winning hearts and minds on NBA twitter, and they are pushing playoff teams on a regular basis. The Hawks are exactly the kind of team that the new lottery rules were designed to embolden.
It helps, of course, that Atlanta's young players are actually good. Not all teams have Trae Young and John Collins. And, in fairness, the Hawks are still pretty bad. Atlanta will likely still miss out on Zion at number one, but it won’t be because of a few extra wins in February and March. That feels like progress.
What matters at the moment is that we’re in the first year with new lottery rules, two months before the most dramatic lottery in a decade. The top of the board is dominated by New York, Phoenix, Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, and Washington—and one of those teams is not playing the final months like the others.
If Adam Silver is hoping that subsequent lottery results might eventually change regular season behavior, we already know where he wants Zion to go.
ESPNTrae Young's slow build to success
IF EVERYTHING WERE to come up perfect for the Atlanta Hawks on May 14, the NBA's draft lottery, they could have the following:
- One of the top two picks of the draft so they could add Zion Williamson or Ja Morant to their team.
- As high as the No. 6 pick in the draft, thanks to a trade with the Dallas Mavericks.
- Five picks in the top 42 of the draft.
- Maximum salary-cap space.
A compelling case to make to top free agents such as Kevin Durant. If you don't have the Hawks on your list of free-agent destinations, please see above and reconsider.
OK, so being honest, the chances of this scenario aren't great. But that doesn't mean these aren't exciting times for the Hawks, who are in the second year of a rebuild that is showing tremendous promise regardless of lottery luck or free-agency dreams.
They have several exciting young players, led by rookie Trae Young, in addition to that horde of draft picks and cap space. Just as important, they are sticking to a plan that is bearing fruit faster than it was imagined.
It was simple in concept. Find players with potential in the draft and pour resources into developing them. Lots of teams plan to do this, not all of them actually execute it.
The result? Players taken with potential in the draft have been developing.
Neither Young nor Collins can defend a lick, and that's a long-term problem, but boy do they also provide a lot of answers. Add in rookie Huerter, who has lots of promise as an 3-point shooting wing, and you start to get the picture.
The Hawks are 9-10 since the All-Star break. Young isn't going to catch Doncic for Rookie of the Year but his steady improvement has been terrific. Collins isn't going to win Most Improved Player but he's going to get votes. Huerter looks like a steal at the No. 19 pick.
The scouting and developing is happening. The real winning may not be far behind.
ThunderBolt wrote:Are hawks fans more excited about Trey or Collins?
ThunderBolt wrote:Are hawks fans more excited about Trey or Collins?
ThunderBolt wrote:Are hawks fans more excited about Trey or Collins?
jayu70 wrote:ThunderBolt wrote:Are hawks fans more excited about Trey or Collins?
Both for me.
The RingerThe Five Most Interesting Teams of the 2018-19 NBA Season
The pleasant surprises and ascendant contenders that defined this regular season
It’s one thing to set out to build something like Warriors East; it’s another to actually look like you’re on the way there after just two drafts. After a brutal start to the season...the Hawks started to turn it around in mid-December and have been surprisingly solid—and pretty damn watchable—ever since. They’re 23-27 over their last 50 games with a middle-of-the-pack offense led by the playmaking excellence of point guard Trae Young.
The rookie’s been lights-out for about two and a half months, averaging 22.9 points, 9.1 assists (third best in the league behind Russell Westbrook and LeBron James), and 4.4 rebounds per game since mid-January. The attention Young draws with the threat of his back-online jumper (36.9 percent from 3-point range since February 1) and his exceptional passing touch have elevated the play of ascendant power forward John Collins and reclamation project center Alex Len
With Young, Collins, and several versatile wings already in the fold, the Hawks might already have one of the best young cores in the East. With another lottery pick on the way and a projected $41 million in cap space to augment that core in free agency, Atlanta could be poised to make a serious leap in short order.
The AthleticAtlanta Hawks, 29-52 (-5.5 net rating)
What did we learn about them: Lloyd Pierce can coach and this young core can really play. It took them a month or two to get into the groove, but the Hawks eventually figured out how to avoid being terrible. Pierce found a rhythm with his rotations and Trae Young’s scoring caught up to his passing prowess. Once that happened and John Collins got healthy, the Hawks became a team a lot of playoff squads had to pay attention to. The trio of Young, Collins, and Kevin Huerter currently has 977 minutes together on the season and were outscored by 1.1 points per 100 possessions in those minutes. That’s extremely impressive for such a young and inexperienced trio. Just compare that to the Bulls numbers and you can see the competitive gap between the two this season.
Outlook moving forward: The future is super bright for the Hawks. Imagine them getting the top pick and then adding Zion Williamson to the mix. Even if they don’t, the Hawks can add a high level prospect and continue the rebuild brought on by Travis Schlenk. Atlanta has a reason to be excited about the present and the future, and hopefully that can turn Hawks games into something the city wants to attend regularly.
The AthleticBright Futures: NBA execs, coaches and scouts speak candidly on the teams next in line to dominate
“It’s the same as Sacramento—they have a high-level player (Trae Young) at a position where all the good ones are older. There’s a culture of development there as well, so guys are going to improve.”
“Two months ago I didn’t know if they could win a game, but credit to Lloyd Pierce for instilling fundamentals into this group. The Trae Young trade is not as bad now, and Kevin Huerter is going to be a player in this league. John Collins has been great for them since coming back from injury. Many teams out of the playoffs are stuck between rebuilding and holding onto the past, but Atlanta is already in year two of their rebuild and they have three players that are going to be in their rotation for years to come, plus two top-10 picks this year.”
“I love the young talent of Young, Collins, Huerter and Taurean Prince. Omari Spellman has a chance too if he can get in better shape. Plus their picks and financial flexibility have them in a good spot.”
–East assistant coach
“They have all kinds of going-forward questions, but I like the combination of Collins, Young and Huerter. Plus, Lloyd Pierce has done a good job. Also, I like the way they’re playing hard all the way to the end.”
“Basically it’s the Young/Collins duo and how they fit well together, plus I’m a big fan of Huerter and feel like he’s got a chance to be really good going forward. They are also well-positioned for the future.”
“They have a decent amount of young talent and I think Lloyd has done a great job with them, but they need to find that No. 1 guy or they’re gonna get stuck.”
AJC.comMark Bradley wrote:The Hawks lost 53 games, but it was a winning season
The Hawks just completed the perfect bad season, which isn’t the same as being perfectly bad. They were much better than expected, though not so much better they compromised their lottery odds. They deployed young players who got better as they went, and their first-year coach proved a keeper. And, not incidentally, they were the most entertaining Hawks since the Nique/Doc/Spud crew of the late 1980s.
For all the deft work done over the past year, the team itself is not yet good. It’s getting there, though. When – and it seems more now a “when” than an “if” – the remade Hawks do become a winner, at least four members of this roster should have a hand in it.
- Taurean Prince was left over from the previous regime.
- Collins was Travis Schlenk’s first draftee.
- Young and Kevin Huerter were first-rounders in June.
No, four men don’t constitute a team, but four men can serve as a foundation. There’s your key takeaway from 2018-19: Two years into the Schlenk rebuild, he has his foundation. Of this Foundational Four, Young is first among not-quite-equals.
The Hawks met the media Wednesday morning, and the mood wasn’t of a team that had slogged through a soul-crushing season. These were players who’d glimpsed what, someday soon, could be. The Hawks under [first year coach Lloyd] Pierce never looked jaded, not even when they started 6-23. (They were 23-30 thereafter, that with losing their final three games.)
The Hawks have recently known playoff seasons much less intriguing than the one that ended with Loss No. 53.
Said Pierce: “We wanted to create an identity – new staff, new ownership, new GM, new arena, all coming together in this year. We felt this was the right time to really start this transition, start this growth, start this rebuild or whatever you want to call it. It all came together, and we were able to create an identity in that year."
There’s still a ways to go, but the distance doesn’t seem nearly as long as it did a year ago.