The Atlanta Hawks traded their number 3 pick to the Mavericks, which let the Mavs get Luka, and the Hawks picked Trae Young instead. Now, why am I telling you about a trade that happened a couple of years ago? Well, most people who follow the NBA ripped the Hawks for making an awful trade and missing out on a generational player. Then especially after Luka had an amazing rookie season and won rookie of the year, the trade looked even worse. The only people who didn’t believe that the trade was bad were the Atlanta Hawks. They had somehow convinced themselves that they were going to be the next Golden State Warriors.
First, they hired the Warriors’ assistant manager in Travis Sclenk, and then they drafted their “next Stephen Curry” in Trae Young. That same year they drafted their “next Klay Thompson” in Kevin Huerter, they already had their star power forward in John Collins, and then in 2019, they drafted their “Harrison Barnes” in Cam Reddish, and if that doesn’t work they also drafted De’Andre Hunter. In the Hawks’ minds, they were set. They had their young core, and in a couple of years, they would rival one of the greatest teams in history. It’s been a couple of years, and this doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case.
Today they fired Lloyd Pierce, who went 63-120 in his two and a half years as the Hawks’ head coach. Alright, still on track to be the next Warriors, Marc Jackson was fired before the Warriors went on their run, and maybe the Hawks need the next Steve Kerr. The difference is that the Warriors actually had success under Jackson, and the Hawks have had 0 success. People were super high on the Hawks this year as they thought they would put everything together and be one of the East’s top seeds. That’s not the case as they are 14-20 and are sitting in the 14th seed.
The biggest difference is that Trae Young is not the next Steph Curry. Sure they can both shoot from 30 feet, but when Steph shoots, I feel like it’s going in, and when Trae shoots, it just looks like a bad shot selection. I’m not the only one who believes this as the Hawks other star John Collins has been very vocal about the Hawks struggles and believes it starts with Trae Young.
The unhappiness has spread into trade rumors with John Collins. If the Hawks want any chance of being the next Warriors, then their frontcourt needs to improve drastically. I love watching the Red Mamba as much as the next person, but it’s obvious that Kevin Huerter is not the next Klay Thompson. Klay is one of the most underrated players in history. Klay, throughout his career, has averaged 19.5 points, 42% from 3, while guarding the best frontcourt player every night. Huerter is averaging only 11.9 points, 3.7 assists and is shooting 36% from 3 this year. Putting up those stats won’t make you be the next splash brother.
It’s still early, but I think it’s safe to say that I don’t see the Hawks winning 73 games anytime soon.