HAWKS – A new Point Guard addition can change the entire approach, dimension, and or flow of your offense. Atlanta, having just gone through the growing pains of another young PG, decided to switch things up entirely. Instead of pairing a young player (that doesn’t play PG) with Schroder, which would have perhaps put them in position for the #4 or #5 2019 Draft pick, they decided to start over completely.
Although second-year PF John Collins has displayed tons of potential, PG was certainly not the weakest link on the team. That belongs to either the Center position or SG. Mo Bamba would have fit in nicely with Schroder and Collins. Doncic has a lot of the same shooting and playmaking ability as Trae Young, but could have played both SG and SF alongside Schroder.
The Hawks’ staff, though, saw PG as the most important position right now. So they decided to be opportunistic about a floor general they fell in love with, and pulled the trigger on Trae Young. A few weeks later, they traded Schroder for what could amount to be two 2nd round picks in 2022-23.
This puts them in an even better position to go through growing pains this year and come out as the winner of the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. After all, they had the #3 pick this year after Schroder, in his 4th year, had his best season (19.4 PPG and 6.2 APG). They haven’t made any significant changes to the roster, other than switching out veteran Schroder for rookie Trae Young. Point Guards generally have their worst seasons, as far as turnover to assist ratio, in their rookie season. That’s where the growing pains come in, so expect them to take a short step back in order to take huge steps forward in the future. A future that is also highlighted by a future 1st round pick now owed to them by the Mavs (the pick is top-five protected for the next two years, top-three protected in 2021 and ’22, and unprotected the following year).
Landing the top pick would be the ideal situation for the Hawks, and it’s realistic. It would also speed up this rebuilding process. Trae Young’s game is compatible with a player that many, myself included, consider a prize target of the 2019 draft lottery. Fans have a lot to be excited about because not only are there premier options at the top of the upcoming draft, but Trae Young also spaces the floor with his shooting range in a way that Schroder did not. Making more room for passing/driving lanes for teammates.
No offense to Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, but the real future of Atlanta is Zion Williamson, who at 6’6 270 lbs, is a man amongst boys on the court. Zion would be the best Hawks’ forward to lace it up since Dominique Wilkins. He is built like LeBron and is as explosive as Blake Griffin. He’s going to draw many comparisons to a young Larry Johnson but will put up numbers like Charles Barkley when he reaches his peak.
Keep an eye on him at Duke this season; he’s a freight train running the lane. Some recruiters consider his toughest competition for the #1 pick to be playing right beside him. That’s right, the Duke Blue Devils have three potential #1 prospects playing on the same court, but that’s another story.
High School Stats: 36 PPG 11.4 RPG 2.3 BPG 3.4 SPG
Projected stats at Duke: 18 PPG 8 RPG 1.5 SPG 1.5 BPG
Projected rookie stats: 12 PPG 7 RPG 1 BLK 1 STL
Projected stats in his prime: 24 PPG 10 RPG 1.5 BLK