Salt Lake City was not too kind to the Hawks to open up summer league. The Hawks lost all three games and did not exactly make it look pretty in the process. Here are my takeaways from the Utah Summer League:
The elephant in the room is the poor performance from Trae Young. It was a Hawks fan’s nightmare seeing him shoot the way he did and watch fourth overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. make 8 3’s for the Grizzlies in the first game. Young was not able to get anything to fall all weekend in Utah. Perhaps it is mental, but he did start struggling shooting down the stretch at Oklahoma. However, this was due to constant double-teaming and game planning from opposing teams. Young got the looks he will require to score once he fixes his shot. He did flash elite passing ability at times, which got me excited. It is too early to freak out, but it certainly was not encouraging. Let’s see how he plays in Vegas.
John Collins did not put on a crazy dunk performance like last year in summer league. This time, you could tell he was focused on expanding his range to incorporate the 3 ball more to his game. We saw this a bit last season, and it is kind of a known thing that a lot of second-year players play summer league just to try new things in their game. That is kind of what we saw here from Collins. He did show off some awesome post moves at times. He got banged up in the second game, but Coach Lloyd Pierce alluded that we will be seeing more of John the Baptist in summer league play.
Tyler Dorsey was playing with a different level of confidence that we have seen so far. At times, he has almost been too confident. He took a lot of shots the first few games of Summer League. However, he does appear primed to take on more minutes in 2018-19 and looks like he is putting his little DUI situation behind him. If the Hawks can find a suitor for Bazemore, he and Huerter could split minutes.
The stat sheet will not make out Omari Spellman as a superstar, but I saw some stuff I really liked about his game. For one, he rarely misses a wide-open three-point shot. Spellman’s game is going to transition to the league well. He also made some really impressive plays on defense. He has a great motor. This kid is going to be a good NBA player.
We can safely assume we will likely not see Alpha Kaba in the NBA any time soon. The fact that he has only played a handful of minutes in summer league is pretty telling.
Unfortunately, we do not get our first peek at Kevin Huerter just yet, as he is recovering from injury.