Of course, there’s a chance the young Hawks players will improve so much that it more than offsets the team’s lack of experience and high-quality veterans. Collins can be an All-Star. Young and Huerter were starting-caliber as rookies with room for more. Omari Spellman, the No. 30 overall draft pick in 2018, has a chance to become a key contributor.
The prime directive for the Hawks is the continued development of those players and the acclimation of new rookies De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando. That will be interesting to watch. The Hawks still will have their entertaining brand of playing fast, sharing the ball and shooting a lot of 3-pointers.
The Hawks also will have another season of watching the draft lottery standings and hoping for additional picks in 2020. They are owed picks from Cleveland (protected in top 10) and Brooklyn (protected in top 14). The Cavs will be awful again so that pick is iffy, but the Nets pick almost certainly will convey to the Hawks after Brooklyn added Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.
At some point the Hawks will shift from their team-building focus from accumulating assets to trying to collect more wins. It won’t happen in the summer before rebuild Year 3. That’s better than splurging on a free agent whose contract crimps their cap. Still, I would have liked to see something in between: moves that give them a better chance to add to their victory total while keeping the rebuild on schedule.