The Hawks will be represented during this year’s All-Star weekend by a couple of their young stars. It’s been rumored that John Collins will be participating in the dunk contest, although, not confirmed. But we do know Trae Young will be in the Skills competition, along with the player he was traded for, Luka Doncic, and De’Aaron Fox. And as of yesterday, both Collins and Young will be representing Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Last year, Collins represented Team USA in the same event with teammate Taurean Prince. Collins was named a starter and finished with eleven points and three rebounds, including a couple of high flying dunks. This year, he will be joined by Trae Young, who has dusted off some of those rookie growing pains and put together a remarkable first season.
In just under thirty minutes per game, Young is averaging 16.2 points and 7.3 assists. His field goal percentage is back over 40% and he’s beginning to play like a top-five pick, putting up 20.2 points and 7.2 assists over his last ten games.
Collins may be participating in the Rising Stars Challenge for the second year in a row, but there is a legitimate argument to be made for him to be in the All-Star Game already in year two. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in thirty minutes per and is already among the most efficient players in the NBA, shooting a hair shy of 60% from the field, including 40% from three-point range. If it wasn’t for the fact that he missed a large chunk of games to begin the season, his exclusion from the All-Star Game would have to be one of the most notable snubs.
The Rising Stars Challenge will take place on February 15th. The Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Competition take place on February 16th.