Written by Prince Robinson Jr., Hawks Writer. Photo courtesy of NewsOk.
Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk took upon the opportunity of recreating the Warriors in the city of Atlanta in the coming seasons. So far, the manifestation has occurred earlier than expected.
In the 2018 NBA draft, the Hawks walked away with three first round selections in Trae Young (5), Kevin Huerter (19) and Omari Spellman (30). These three serve as the pillars for Hawks ball leading into the future.
For Schlenk, it is exactly what he was hoping for.
In 2013, the Warriors averaged nearly 107 points per game. That year, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green had played their first full season together as a “big three.”
This season, the Hawks average 109 points per game, which is largely due to the addition of the young three, by way of the Hawks GM.
Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce has structured an offense of running and gunning, as the Hawks rank top-five in pace. Young is at the center of attention and he has done an exceptional job of running the show.
Young had drawn comparisons to Curry out of Oklahoma largely due to assists and shooting prowess. Both stand at about the same height of 6 foot tall – soaking wet.
The slithery ball handling and feel for the game fit perfectly in the Hawks system under Pierce.
Young was arguably the most electrifying player in college basketball in 2018, posting averages of 29 points, three rebounds and seven assists per game during his lone season at Oklahoma.
Next to Young comes Huerter, who built up a bit of momentum a few weeks before draft day. The former Maryland swingman displayed off the ball shooting, assisting, and length to defend a multitude of positions.
Thompson instantly comes to mind. Schlenk found a diamond in the rough – maybe – in Huerter and recently he has put the league on notice.
Over the last 10 games, he has averaged just under 13 points per game and has even put up a career-high 29 points versus the 76ers on Jan 11.
He has proved to be a mainstay in the rotation next to Young, and even with him at the point guard spot, he has been able to run the offense.
Spellman has served as the wildcard for the young Hawks. His game doesn’t resemble the likes of Green, but his story is fairly similar
In just three games with the Erie BayHawks, the former Villanova forward averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds. Translate that into the actually NBA play and Spellman would easily be one of the league’s best rebounders.
But that isn’t the case.
Spellman recently stated that he lost 20 pounds. His weight was an issue coming into the draft just like Green and look how he turned out.
The Hawks are not expecting Spellman to be the next Draymond, more so just to be the next Omari Spellman and his stretch four potential sold the Hawks.
He was one of the best three-point shooting bigs in college basketball during his time suiting up for the Wildcats in 2017-2018, shooting 43 percent.
All three have had their coming out games, but it’s the consistency and experience that will thrusts the Hawks into elite status.