In the past weeks, the Hawks have made a number of moves to fill out their roster for next season. With 12 guaranteed contracts on the books, it’s safe to say they probably won’t be making any more big moves. Each player the Hawks added (whether draft or trade) brings something different to the table and helps the team going forward. Nothing much is being said, but the biggest winner in all of these moves is Trae Young.
Sharing the wealth
If it was one thing we knew the Hawks wanted more of, it’s shooters. Kevin Huerter, John Collins, DeAndre’ Bembry, and Alex Len helped space the floor last season with their shooting. This offseason, they traded up in the draft to take DeAndre Hunter, a player who shot 43% from three at Virginia. Next, they drafted Cam Reddish who has the potential to be the best scorer in the draft. With the 35thpick, Bruno Fernando was drafted, and he has shown the ability to step out on the perimeter and shoot. Along with those picks, the Hawks were able to acquire Allen Crabbe from a trade, and he shot 38% from three last year.
These players will help open the offense and take some attention off of Young. He was able to make things work with decent shooters last season, so we should see major improvement this upcoming season. There’s a strong possibility Young could average double digit assists for years to come with all the weapons he has on offense.
More defensive help
The Hawks were not good defensively as a team, or individually. Trae Young was exposed many times on that side of the floor due to his size. At times, Young couldn’t guard other point guards, so Pierce would switch another defender on them. Bembry and Huerter were the best wing defenders the Hawks had, so they were put with that task. Teams like the Warriors have had the luxury to put multiple defenders on the floor so they can hide Steph Curry. Brad Stevens found a way to hide Isaiah Thomas years ago when he was on the Celtics. Next season, the Hawks should have options to make sure Young will not be a liability.
Besides his high percentage from three, Hunter is well known for his defense. He gave players a hard time in Virginia with his size and wing span. Reddish will also be a solid defender, despite all the talk being about his offense. In his press conference, it sounded like Pierce was more excited for what he brings on defense than anything else. When both Hunter and Reddish are on the floor, things should get easier for Young.
Another ball handler
After Jeremy Lin was bought out from the team, Young was left with more responsibility to carry the load on offense. Jaylen Adams was the backup point guard, but he wasn’t as effective as Young was. Even though this bought positive results for Trae, he still needed some time to rest during games. This year, the Hawks will have multiple ball handlers to take the pressure off of Young.
Evan Turner has proven through his career that he can control an offense and be a reliable playmaker. He’s never been a great perimeter shooter, but the Hawks don’t need him for that. He’ll be in games to help open Trae’s offense and make him become an off-ball threat, something he wasn’t able to do last year. Cam Reddish will also be in the mix to be the ball handler at times, with him having experience at Duke. Reddish’s ability to take defenders one on one will make him an important piece on the roster and allow Trae to sit back.
With all these pieces the Hawks added, there’s no way life should be hard for Trae Young. If anything, this is a luxury for the Hawks guard. He has everything he needs to make him and the team successful.
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