Five Reasons the NBA Should Want the Atlanta Hawks Picking First

Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
5 of 7
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks, John Collins and Trae Young (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

2. The Hawks Play a Fun Style of Basketball

The Atlanta Hawks were one of the most exciting young teams to watch in all of basketball last season. Coach Lloyd Pierce has the Hawks running a high-octane offense. They Hawks led the entire NBA in fastest pace of play last season. Once the team was able to limit its turnovers and get key players back from injury, the Atlanta Hawks were the second highest scoring team in the NBA post all-star break. They trailed the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the best record in the NBA, by only one point per game. This wide open, fast paced style fits the game of Zion Williamson perfectly, as he as at his absolute best in open court, transition situations. In these scenarios, he is able to finish at the rim from a teammate’s pass, or use his quick first step and ball handling abilities to create his own path to the basket.

Here is Zion Williamson throwing down a dunk in transition, courtesy of the ESPN Twitter account:

The Atlanta Hawks also take a lot of three-point shots. Only the Houston Rockets attempted more threes, than the Hawks put up following the All Star break. Atlanta was number ten in three-point field goal percentage after the All Star game. That is impressive, with the high number of attempts. Though shooting three pointers isn’t Zion Williamson’s game, the fact that the Hawks shoot the ball so well, will help space the floor to give him operating room inside.

The Atlanta Hawks are blessed that their big men shoot the ball well. John Collins shot 34.8 percent from three and center Alex Len shot 36.3 percent from beyond the arch. Should free agent center Dewayne Dedmon return, he would bring back a 38.3 shooting percentage from downtown. Even power forward Omari Spellman shot 34.4 percent from deep. Add to them Taurean Prince, Kevin Huerter and the potential return of Vince Carter, all of whom shot 38.5 percent or better from three-point range, and Zion would be surrounded by capable shooters. Not to mention that Trae Young was top a top three player in the NBA along with Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, in making deep three-point field goals.

Playing with a point guard like Trae Young would be the absolute best thing for the development of Zion Williamson. Young was fourth in the NBA and second in the Eastern Conference in assists per game. He was second in the NBA in overall assists as a rookie! He also led the NBA in assists on dunks and could set a record for that stat, with Williamson on the receiving end of his passes. Trae Young was number 12 in the NBA in both points per game and free throw attempts per game, among players who played 15 or more games after the All Star break.

Trae Young proved to be durable, playing in 81 of 82 games, this past season. He also has shown to be clutch, nailing game winners against the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. Trae also nearly finished off the Chicago Bulls, before a three shot foul sent the game into overtime. The game continued into a four overtime game, with Trae Young scoring a career 49 points and dishing out 16 assists. Young is a confident star with great work ethic, who truly desires to be the best. The ceiling is limitless for the Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. He is a player that the NBA should want to have on center stage.