Let’s be clear here HawksHoopers. I think there were more than a few eyes raised when the Hawks pulled the trade shipping Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young. I for one was definitely thinking...What in the world are these guys doing? I remember being on the radio analyzing the draft and using the “T” word. That would be “tank”. However, Atlanta’s new General Manager, Travis Schlenk is fresh off the plane after helping construct the NBA’s superteam, the Golden State Warriors. Anybody who worked under Bob Myers and Jerry West commands patience and time to see where the vision and direction goes from here.
With the Golden State Warriors leading the roost in the NBA now and for the foreseen future, the other teams are trying to tap into the intelligence that is the Warriors blueprint to improve their rosters going forward. The Hawks are no different with Schlenk being poached from the Warriors front office.
Schlenk’s draft picks and moves shows us that the Hawks are under construction but they have an identity and plans that explains why? When Mike Budenholzer was in town, the Hawks tried to emulate the San Antonio Spurs. Now it will be the Warriors. So let’s discuss the crown jewel pick if you will for the Hawks...
Trae Young was a shocker of a move in the trade, but let’s take a deeper look at the trade. The Hawks acquired a protected 2019 first round pick as well. Dallas is not a playoff team this year so Schlenk is already stockpiling draft picks for the future. Evidence of that was shown later that night with the trade of Devonte’ Graham for two future second round picks. But the question here is...Is Trae Young the right player to build a franchise around?
HawksHoop will have a two part series concerning the question of Trae Young and if he is the future face of the franchise.
This article will break down why he is the right man for the job.
1) He’s already linked to a superstar...
First off HawksHoopers. This is a recipe for disaster. Trae Young is compared to Stephen Curry. It’s good for the ego and the Hawks marketing and ticket sales departments will have a field day milking this comparison to place fans in the new State Farm arena.
Based on the stats that he put up in college, which is all that we have to go on, why not? The 6’2 Young led the NCAA in both scoring and assists for a Oklahoma Sooners team that would have been at the bottom of the conference. He did not shoot well percentage
wise but who would facing double teams every game and being at the top of the scouting report of every opponent. Be that as it may, Young still overcame that to the tune of 27.4 points and 8.2 assists per game. Throw in a career high 48 points on a nationally televised game on ESPN, you see why fans would make this comparison.
The Atlanta Hawks need something to sell to the fans. Luka Doncic is a good player and potential All-Star, however, Trae Young can transcend the fan base if he is successful. The Hawks were dead last in attendance last season. He brings star power that Doncic can’t.
You can start with street cred...
Atlanta rapper Quavo has already let it be known that Trae Young is wanted in a Hawks uniform long before he was drafted. To those who don’t know, he is half of one of the hottest hip-hop groups in the business...The Migos. His sidekick Offset is the husband of the newest pop sensation Cardi B. Think fans will come to the arena if they THOUGHT Cardi B was in the house?
How about Lil’ Wayne? He honored Young before he even went to college...
Courtesy of USA Today High School Sports this is what Trae’s father, Ray said of the honor...
“”(Wayne) gave a shoutout and said, ‘Show some love for my man Trae Young, staying home to go to Oklahoma University’”
What did Trae think?
“It was an amazing experience” said Young.”Lil Wayne is one of the greatest rappers of all time and to be recognized by him is one of the coolest things that ever happened to me.”
Does anyone have Lil’ Wayne’s number? Get him some season tickets!
Even T.I. gave Trae Young some advice leading into the season courtesy of TMZ...
“Stay out of the “Booty Club”.
The point here...the Hawks have actually started a “Showtime on the east coast”...the hip hop version.
2) He’s used to being in the spotlight...also read...the only reason people come to watch his team.
Nothing against his teammates on the college or pro level, but no one outside of friends and family are coming to see them play. This is all about Trae Young, all the time. The Curry factor has everyone intrigued enough to see if he is the real deal.
The good news is that Young can never feel the level of heat of his predecessor, Lonzo Ball, who at times was crushed under the exposure LaVar put on him. Ball was a marked man from the second the Lakers drafted him.
But Young will have the spotlight solely on him. He is the first draft pick in the Schlenk/Pierce era. He has the star power and opposing point guards are going to load up on him. Luckily for Hawks fans, he had to face that a ton in the second half of the NCAA season last year. That toughness will help him going into NBA play.
3) The summer league showed a talent that was missed in college...
The summer league story was about about Trae Young leaving his jump shot at home. To be kind, he struggled mightily at times. But it seems that he didn’t forget his playmaking abilities. Young impressed a lot of fans and media alike with his playmaking opportunities that he provided for his teammates.
With his size, Young will have to use his quickness to break down the defense to create easy opportunities for his teammates. This is important for the nights that jump shot is not falling. The Hawks do not have a lot of players that can consistently get his own shot, so it will be up to Young to be able to set the table, be able to score effectively (getting to the line and knocking down 85% of his free throws and above) and speed up the tempo to get easy baskets, which is the way of the NBA today.
In closing, no one knows if this move will be a franchise altering move or the first of “What if questions that will dog Travis Schlenk for the next few years.
Look what happened with Boston HawksHoopers! Celtics General Manager, Danny Ainge traded the first overall pick, Markelle Fultz to Philadelphia for the third pick and Jayson Tatum. The similarity here? Boston also got a protected first round pick included in the deal from Sacramento in 2019. Both picks that the Celtics and the Hawks will get in 2019 will likely be LOTTERY PICKS!
History already teaches us that Boston made off like bandits in the deal. The same questions that we have about the Doncic/Young deal was asked last year. Well we got an answer didn’t we?
Tatum is well on his way to being a cornerstone of the Celtics franchise while Fultz was reportedly throwing stones at the basket shooting jumpers.
No matter what happens with Trae Young’s jumper. If some of these positives comes through, the Atlanta Hawks are far and away in better position that they were last year...