The Atlanta Hawks will be entering the new season as one of the more intriguing sides in the NBA. The team has been terrible the past couple of years, winning only 24 and 29 games, in the past two seasons, respectively.
Nevertheless, the future is bright for this very young and promising squad, and it will definitely be interesting to see how this team will perform in the 2019-20 season. There will be a number of interesting narratives within the Hawks that we ought to monitor this term, and below, we provide a preview of some of the storylines that will deservedly take center stage.
Honorable Mention: Parsons on the Comeback Trail
We just couldn’t leave out Chandler Parsons from this list. Just this summer, Atlanta brought in the 30-year-old from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee. On the onset, the primary benefit for the Hawks here is Parsons’ expiring deal, but with Atlanta still needing to shell out $25.1 million for the final year of his deal this season, you can be sure that the team will look to at least get some return on their investment.
Parsons played just 95 games for the Grizzlies in three seasons (he suited up for only 25 contests last term), but perhaps the change of scenery will work wonders for the former All-Rookie team member. We definitely shouldn’t expect him to reach the heights he once did with the Houston Rockets (or even the Dallas Mavericks), but a serviceable player off the bench who can give you quality minutes night in and night out could be an achievable goal for Parsons. Let’s just hope he’s able to somehow stay on the floor.
Air Canada’s Swansong
There is no doubt that one of the biggest storylines for the Hawks this season will be the Vince Carter farewell tour. The eight-time All-Star will be entering his 22nd year in the league this coming season, and we can pretty much expect the red carpet treatment for Carter throughout the campaign. This could be similar to how Dwyane Wade did it last year, but we definitely can’t expect as much fireworks in terms of Carter’s on-court performances. Then again, an occasional (or rare?) 20-point outburst might be on the horizon for the former Rookie of the Year. We don’t know about you, but we’ve definitely got our eyes on Carter’s final game in Toronto as must-see TV.
Carter has contributed so much to this league throughout his two decade-long tenure, and much like the rest of the basketball world, the Hawks will be looking to honor this great man at any given opportunity in his last and final season in the NBA.
The Hype Trae
Perhaps the biggest question that will define the future of the Hawks organization is this: is Trae Young the real deal?
The fifth overall pick of last season’s draft definitely flashed his upside throughout last season, averaging 19.1 points (on 41.8 percent shooting), 3.7 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 0.9 steals in 30.9 minutes, as well as knocking down 1.9 three-pointers per game on a 32.4-percent clip. Young finished a distant second to Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks as last season’s Rookie of the Year, as he established himself as one of the most promising young guards in the league today.
Now with a full season under his belt, how will Young fare in his second year? Will he be able to lift his game to another level despite opposing teams now more adept on defending him? Or will he suffer the dreaded sophomore slump and regress in his second season? There are definitely a lot of questions that will be answered this term, which will have a significant effect on how well the Hawks perform as a unit.
Trae Young, John Collins, and now rookie prospects De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. Many consider this to be one of the most promising young cores in the NBA, and we will have our first glimpse at this newly-formed nucleus in the 2019-20 season. We will also need to throw incoming sophomore Kevin Huerter in the mix, as well as the newly-recruited Jabari Parker (24), who let’s not forget, was the second overall pick in 2014.
There’s a lot working for the Hawks right now, and if all goes according to plan, this side might just emerge as a serious contender a few years down the line. This season will be crucial, though, in how this new chapter begins, so we will definitely be keeping a close eye on the development of Atlanta’s young core this coming campaign.