The exciting thing about this rebuild: All the young talent we will be able to witness. Trae Young has already captured headlines, becoming the first rookie to put up 35+ points and 10+ assists since Steph Curry and only the 5th player to do it in the past 25 years. However, he’s not the only rookie Hawks fans should be enthusiastic about.
Omari Spellman quietly put together a fantastic game alongside Young in the Hawks win over the Cavs. After only seeing the floor for 8 minutes combined in the first two games of the season, Pierce turned to Spellman a little earlier in Cleveland, resulting in major dividends. Spellman put up 17 points in just 24 minutes, going 6-8 from the field and, more impressively, 4-5 from the three-point line.
The 30th overall pick in this year’s draft is getting an early opportunity to make an impression due to both John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon being out with injuries. However, If he keeps playing like this, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the floor regardless.
It’s a small sample size, but Spellman currently carries a 25.16 PER, which shows a lot of the little things he does besides scoring. At 6’9″, 250-pounds, Spellman made a name for himself in college with his ability to guard positions one through five. He’s not afraid to defend against quicker players out on the perimeter and is big enough to bang around in the post with anybody.
Defense is an underrated commodity in today’s NBA, but it’s hard to justify putting a player on the floor that cannot shoot. Spellman may not look like your prototypical sharpshooter, but he can fill up the bucket from the outside with the best of them. In his one year at Villanova, he recorded a 43.3% three-point percentage on 150 attempts. He is certainly not one to shy away from his shot, which is exactly what Lloyd Pierce is looking for in this new fast-paced offense. The hype around Trae Young is well-deserved, but Spellman is another rookie to keep your eye on going forward.