Trae Young has captured all the early headlines of the Hawks first five games of Summer League. It is also worth mentioning Atlanta has failed to win a single one of those five games. That changed Tuesday night when the Hawks met the Bulls, holding on to a 101-93 win. More importantly they did so behind two of their first-round draft picks.
Trae Young finally shot the ball well from beyond the arc, going 7-13. Doing things like this:
Despite the improvements in his shooting numbers, he still forced up his shot a few too many times when he could have been looking to facilitate, particularly later in the game. Young led college basketball in assists last season and has the vision to be a high assist player in the NBA. He showed that in his last Summer League appearance when he dropped eleven dimes to go along with his twenty-one points. He finished this one 7-19 from the field with twenty-four points and five assists with four turnovers. Even if he was not always under control, when the shot is falling like it was, good things are going to happen for the Hawks.
We have yet to get a peek at the Hawks 19th overall selection Kevin Huerter because of injury. We have had the opportunity to look at the last pick of the first-round Omari Spellman, however. A national champion at Villanova, Spellman was drafted because of his ability to guard positions one through five and stretch the floor from the forward or center position. His hustle and winning attitude do not hurt either. However, not many people expected him to be a first-round pick.
In his first stint of action, Spellman has showed us a little bit of everything. He averaged ten points, close to eight rebounds while showing off his defensive ability in Utah’s Summer League. His shot has been rather erratic though and he will probably never translate to a scorer in the NBA, shooting under 30% from the field in his three Vegas Summer League appearances.
Collins sat out Atlanta’s only win, which is probably why they were finally able to pull one out. In all seriousness, last year’s first-round pick has been electric in Summer League once again. He is leading all scorers with 24.0 points per game while snagging 8.5 rebounds in his two games in Vegas. A second-team All-Rookie selection, it is safe to say Atlanta got a steal in the 2017 draft. Collins may be the only player on the roster the front office is sure about heading into next season.
Last year’s other draft pick, Tyler Dorsey, has only played in one game in Vegas thus far. He scored fifteen points, but more impressively grabbed fourteen boards from the guard spot. Dorsey was the Hawks leading scorer in Utah’s Summer League and will look to become a valuable role player in the upcoming season.
Jaylen Adams was averaging 5.0 points per game on 21% shooting coming into Tuesday night. Those numbers went way up after he came off the bench to score twenty-three points on 8-12 shooting, including 5-7 from three. Adams will not likely be on the Hawks opening day roster, but it is nice to see him bounce back and make the most of his opportunity.
Antonius Cleveland is another player trying to earn his way onto the Hawks roster next year. He at least received a vote of confidence of sorts from the Atlanta front office when they signed him to two ten-day contracts at the end of last season and was signed to a non-guaranteed multi-year deal with the team in the offseason. In three games in Vegas, Cleveland is averaging nine points. The shooting guard scored ten against the Bulls Tuesday night on fifty-percent shooting.