The 2018-19 season won’t revolve around wins and losses for the Atlanta Hawks. The emphasis will be on player development, all while establishing a new culture under head coach Lloyd Pierce. It’s a full-blown rebuild, and that means plenty of opportunities for the team’s younger players.
No player will see as much opportunity as Trae Young.
Drafted 5th overall out of Oklahoma, Young was one of the summer’s most polarizing prospects. He dazzled with limitless shooting range and flashy passes but also struggled during the second half of the season. Some draftniks ranked him as high as third, while others slotted him toward the end of the lottery.
I personally had Young 7th, meaning the Hawks’ selection was far from a reach. Trading Luka Doncic was a questionable move, but building an offense around Young’s unique skill set is understandable. The Hawks are starting fresh, and few players possess Young’s upside on the offensive end.
With Dennis Schroder in OKC, the Hawks have cleared the way for Young to control the lion’s share of point guard duties. Jeremy Lin is a serviceable reserve, but Atlanta’s focus will be on getting Young comfortable at the helm of the offense.
As such a unique, polarizing prospect, Young’s progression will be worth monitoring next season. He will spearhead the Hawks’ up-tempo attack — one that will prioritize spacing and movement, leveraging Young’s shooting prowess while unlocking opportunities for him as a playmaker.
Young isn’t getting much love on the national stage yet — at least not from the ESPN staff — but he’s someone who could turn some heads as the Hawks’ go-to guy. Here are some realistic goals for next season.
Next Up: Goal 3