It’s been a rough few years for the Hawks, but most intelligent minds recognize that a breakout should be right around the corner for this squad — the reason for that — their unbelievable young talent. Bleacher Report recently broke down their top ten players 21-years-old or younger, and three Hawks made the list. No other team had more than two.
10. Cam Reddish
Rounding out the top ten was Cam Reddish, the 20-year-old rookie out of Duke. It’s funny that Reddish was placed in the top 10 because, in a separate Bleacher Report article, the writer suggested the Hawks trade De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish for 35-year-old P.J. Tucker from the Rockets. I understand the Hawks need defense, but that is truly one of the most absurd and laughable trade ideas I’ve ever seen for a multitude of reasons, starting with the fact that Cam Reddish is the Hawks best defender and a budding star in this league, which this list seems to recognize.
Anyways, if you take a look at Reddish’s stats for his entire rookie season, you may not be that impressed. However, if you focus on how he progressed each month, it’s easy to see why people think he has star potential. In October (5 games), Reddish averaged 5.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 20.9% from the field and a putrid 5.6% from three. But by March (4 games), he was averaging 17.5 points on 55.1% shooting from the field and 47.6% from behind the arc. Reddish has it all on both sides of the court, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he began to receive some All-Star recognition around the league as early as next season.
8. Kevin Huerter
I probably would have switched Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter on this list, but they are both deserving of the nod. Many people aren’t even aware that Huerter is still only 21-years-old after two years in the league, and it took him no time at all to develop a role for himself, starting 58 games as a rookie.
Huerter is a sniper that began to grow a lot more as a playmaker in his second season. The biggest thing holding him back thus far has been health. He’s been plagued by nagging injuries in both of his NBA seasons. However, if Huerter can stay healthy in year three, he could become an excellent partner with Trae Young in the Hawks backcourt.
2. Trae Young
Speaking of Trae Young, his spot on this list comes as no surprise, landing at #2, right behind Luka Doncic. The superstar point guard needs no introduction. He was already named an All-Star starter in just his second season and finished the year averaging 29.6 points and 9.3 assists. Luka Doncic has been otherworldy, but so has Trae Young, and the fact that the Hawks were also able to get Cam Reddish out of that deal should have them feeling plenty confident about their squad moving forward.