NBA Power Rankings #30: Atlanta Hawks
photo via sportslogos.net
The Atlanta Hawks are coming off of a 24-58 record and you'll most likely see something similar this season. The Hawks plan for their rebuild at this moment in time is still in the early stages. They found good pieces in Taurean Prince and John Collins through the draft in 2016 and 2017 respectively, they don't have any contracts that will cause major problems down the road (Miles Plumlee will make 12.5 million this year and next and Kent Bazemore is has a $19 million dollar player option next season that he's expected to accept, but will most likely be traded before the Hawks have to pay it), and they have high hopes on their 2018 draft class of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and Omari Spellman.
The 2018 draft class is going to be the biggest storyline worth following out of the ATL during the upcoming NBA season. Trae Young is going to be the focal point of the team but may not get the keys to the offense right out of the gate. Atlanta may consider starting Jeremy Lin at point guard while Trae Young comes off the bench and learns the offense and how to be a professional basketball player. Young is the core of the "Warriors 2.0" mentality that Hawks front office has chosen to take. Young, Huerter, and Spellman are hoping to be the Eastern Conference version of Curry, Thompson, and Green. The odds that this pans out the way Atlanta fans are hoping it will are very, very slim and I don't think this season will be the most promising and hope inspiring season Atlanta has seen.
Trae Young can shoot the lights out, but as a undersized rookie, there's only so much he can do in year one of his career. This Hawks team has promise, but they're far from ready to compete even if (and that's a big if) all the core players are already there. The Warriors took years to gel and grow together before becoming the dynasty we see now. In a perfect world, the Hawks are still 3-5 years from being a playoff threat, and 5-7 years from being a title contender. For now, expect another season with 20 or so wins.