Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks poses for portraits during media day at Emory Sports Medicine Complex on September 24, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Health, consistency make Hawks’ Young a starter in exhibitions

If Lloyd Pierce knows who will start at point guard for the Hawks in the regular season, he still is not saying.

Rookie Trae Young has started each of the Hawks’ three exhibition games, including Wednesday’s contest against the Spurs at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion. Veteran Jeremy Lin, who missed most of the past two seasons due to injuries, has played in two of the previous three games.

Pierce also declined to declare a starting point guard before the start of training camp.

Pierce said the exhibition lineup has been based more on health rather than a regular-season indicator.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Pierce said. “Trae has basically been the healthiest point guard and the most consistent point guard with Jeremy progressing great but progressing. In a lot of ways it’s an easy way for me to just keep things going. He’s been the most consistent from day one at that spot.”

Young is averaging 14 points, 5 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes in three games. He is shooting .359 from the field, including .250 from 3-point range.

While Young has struggled to a degree with his shot, his assists have become teaching moments for Pierce and the Hawks. Young has had two highlight-worthy assists this season. He dropped a pass to John Collins off the backboard and passed through the legs of an opponent to Miles Plumlee for a dunk.

“These guys know the pass will get there,” Pierce said of Young. “He will do his part if they do their part and visa versa. That is the excitement of having a guy like Trae. He is willing to give up the basketball and he can get it to them in a variety of ways.”

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