Atlanta Hawks: The Reasons Four Highly Coveted Players Were Retained

Atlanta Hawks, Dewayne Dedmon (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Dewayne Dedmon (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks, Taurean Prince (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Taurean Prince (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Taurean Prince

Taurean Prince is the fourth Atlanta Hawks player heavily mentioned in trade rumors to stay put. Like Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince is recently returning from a severe ankle sprain after missing 18 games.

Taurean Prince is averaging 13.3 points and 3.6 rebounds this NBA season. Prince has been efficient, shooting career highs of 44.6 percent from the field, 38.6 from beyond the arch and 51.4 percent from two point range. His effective field goal percentage of 54.8 and true shooting percentage of 57.9 are also career highs.

It has been an adjustment for Taurean Prince this season, finding out where his shots will come from in a new offense, with almost an entirely new cast of teammates. Brad Rowland of Peachtree Hoops recently tweeted this positive quote from Prince via Chris Kirschner, Atlanta Hawks beat writer for The Athletic:

The quote shows that Taurean Prince has a great attitude and wants to gel with his teammates rather than try to play “hero ball”. I am ecstatic that Taurean Prince was not moved. I have contended all along that moving Prince was the wrong move. In fact I stated such in this recent article.

In keeping Taurean Prince, general manager Travis Schlenk and head coach Lloyd Pierce can get an extended look at him paired with Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and John Collins. Being just 24 years old, Taurean fits the timeline of the Atlanta rebuilding project.

There was not good reason to trade Prince to a contender, in which the best possible return would have been a lesser young prospect and a late first round draft pick. Prince, a great catch and shoot artist who has two career 38 point games to his credit, has much more upside than what the Hawks could have acquired in return.

Equally as important is he wants to be here in Atlanta. He spoke of his dedication to the Atlanta Hawks and the city of Atlanta to Chris Kirschner of the Athletic, communicated in the following tweet:

Taurean Prince has recently shown the Atlanta Hawks that retaining him was a good idea. Just prior to the trade deadline, Taurean Prince exploded for 21 points in a win over the Washington Wizards. He was a scorching 7/10 shooting the basketball, and 5/7 from beyond the arch.

Prince spoke briefly after the performance, highlighted in this video from the Atlanta Hawks YouTube channel:

Taurean Prince followed that up with another stellar performance the night after the trade deadline passed. In the encore he scored 19 points, making 7/12 shots. He knocked down 5/8 shots from three-point territory.

There will still be adjustment periods as the young Atlanta Hawks continue to bond and form chemistry. Recent performances like the two previously mentioned games, are great evidence as to why Taurean Prince needs to be part of the Atlanta Hawks core for the foreseeable future.

Taurean Prince’s Stats

Totals Table
2016-17 22 ATL SF 59 10 981 114 285 .400 33 102 .324 81 183 .443 .458 .787 25 132 157 55 43 27 61 335
2017-18 23 ATL SF 82 82 2464 415 975 .426 176 457 .385 239 518 .461 .516 .844 50 339 389 214 85 42 191 1158
2018-19 24 ATL SF 35 27 964 166 372 .446 76 197 .386 90 175 .514 .548 .831 15 111 126 69 36 13 70 467
Career 176 119 4409 695 1632 .426 285 756 .377 410 876 .468 .513 .826 90 582 672 338 164 82 322 1960

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2019.