Are the Atlanta Hawks trying to be the second coming of the Golden State Warriors?
Draft night came and went. The Atlanta Hawks were able to add three pieces to their growing core: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and Omari Spellman. These three have some parallels and similarities to another core: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. It is also worth noting the current Hawks General Manager, Travis Schlenk, was a former assistant General Manager for the Golden State Warriors.
So it begs the question: Is Schlenk trying to recreate the Warriors?
The Trae Young-Steph Curry comparison
The first comparison is Trae Young to Steph Curry. This is the most obvious comparison since it has been said a thousand times due to sports media. Young was the most hyped out prospect of this draft class. People were enamored with his ability to shoot from way beyond the three-point arc.
His quick release and small frame drew many comparisons to Curry at the start of the college season. Trae uses an effective floater when necessary and just his overall style of play resembled to Steph. Now there are some flaws in Young's game. He needs to become a more disciplined shooter.
He has the potential to be one of the best three-point shooters in the game, but his poor shot decision making made his percentages drop in college. His small size will make him a weakness on defense when matching up against bigger guards. Now this problem is also present with Curry. However, Curry is fortunate to be surrounded with great defenders like Durant, Green, and Thompson, who help pick up the slack.
Overall, Curry is largely successful because of his team along with his talent. Who knows if Curry could have been this good on another team. Trae is the closest thing to Curry we have seen, but he needs to be in the right system to achieve anywhere close to his potential.
Is Kevin Huerter the second coming of Klay Thompson?
Kevin Huerter is the Klay Thompson of the Hawks. The backcourt of Huerter and Young is going to be fun to watch if they are making the hundreds of shots people are expecting them to take.
The comparison between Huerter and Thompson is based off their size and style of play. Both of these players are tall shooting guards. They both stand at 6'7", are great spot-up three point shooters, and are also capable of dribbling and pulling up for a shot anywhere on the court.
Klay Thompson has become one of the best two-way guards in the league. In the rare case that Klay's shots aren't dropping, he is going to play harder on defense than usual to ensure his impact is noted.
Huerter plays with defensive intensity and he is hardworking like Klay, but he is nowhere near the defender Klay is at this moment. Huerter will need to become faster and stronger to be a better defender.
College game does not always translate to the NBA. Huerter's offensive game is similar to Klay, and he has the potential to be a good defender but only time will tell whether the backcourt of Young and Huerter will match the success of the splash bros.
Omari Spellman the facilitator
Probably the biggest stretch of a comparison is between Omari Spellman and Draymond Green, but there are similarities. Draymond Green gets credit as being an impactful player who does not put up big numbers, but he does do all the little things that matter and is a great team player. He sets the screens, cuts, dives on the floor, takes charges, and is vocal on defense.
These little things are what Spellman was doing at college. He too does not put up big numbers, but his impact is based on the additional aspects the boxscore does not measure. He's fluid for his size and is capable of guarding multiple positions. His flaws include shooting and his defense won't be on the level it needs to be to become Draymond Green.
On another note, Spellman's facilitating ability is nowhere on par with Green's. This past season, Spellman only averaged 0.8 assists a game. He is the closest player to Draymond in the class, because of his effectiveness in doing everything that isn't measured with numbers but he has a long way to go before he reaches an elite level.
Schlenk is trying to be responsible in bringing the Hawks back into the playoffs. With a new coach in Lloyd Pierce and three new players to add to their roster, the Hawks are definitely one of the rising teams in the east. With Schlenk having worked with the Warriors, Trae Young as Steph, Kevin Huerter as Klay, and Omari Spellman as Draymond, the Hawks will noticeably be trying to replicate the magic of Golden State.
Do you think the Atlanta Hawks will recreate the dominance of the Golden State Warriors? Tell us in the comments below!