The Hawks may not be winning too many games this season, but it is fun to see the team go in a youthful direction. The Hawks have done such a great job developing players since Mike Budenholzer took the reigns as head coach. Now he gets to sprinkle his roster with young prospects as the team rebuilds around John Collins, Dennis Schroder, Taurean Prince, and whoever they take in the top five of this year’s draft.
The Hawks agreed to buyouts with their older pending free agents, allowing the young guys to get more minutes. Sure, the average fan may not have heard of some of these guys. However, the same could have been said of T.J. McConnell and Rob Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers. They were just young role players on a dark ages team for their organization, but Philly’s rebuild is officially on the other side of the rainbow, and these guys now play a prominent role on the most up and coming team in the Eastern Conference.
So without further ado, let’s do a rundown of some of the more unknown young guys the Hawks should keep around and develop as future rotation pieces:
Tyler Cavanaugh has not played in over a month due to a bad ankle sprain, but prior to this, he was raising the eyebrows of avid Hawks fans. He will never blow you away with his athleticism, but Cavanaugh is a smart player who is just good enough at everything and makes up for what he is not by grinding. Few players can be seen playing harder on a night to night basis. The Hawks clearly liked what they saw as well, as they handed him an extension midseason. They have him for one more season and retain his rights as a restricted free agent from thereon out.
It seemed as if Tyler Dorsey would never get a shot to crack the Hawks rotation, but the former Oregon Duck has assumed a much bigger role since the departure of Marco Belinelli. Dorsey provides a spark when he steps on the floor, but definitely still plays like a rookie. He has made some mistakes and we all know he could shoot the ball a bit better. With that being said, he seems to be a nice fit for the Hawks if he can put it together. Dorsey has the chance to become a decent NBA starter or a sixth man of sorts due to the energy he brings.
Dennis Schroder would be pissed if he read this, but Isaiah Taylor is definitely the fastest player on the Hawks. He has played decent ball off the bench in what is essentially his true rookie season. Malcolm Delaney is a free agent after this season, and Taylor is still under contract, which suggests he could assume a larger role next season. Taylor will never be more than a backup point guard in the NBA, but this could still be a valuable asset down the road.
Andrew White III
Andrew White III is one of the newest Hawks having played in just three NBA to date. He made his presence known immediately when he dropped 15 in his NBA debut. White is just on a two-way deal, but he was Jim Boeheim’s best player in his lone year at Syracuse and has shown some promise. We all know it can take some time to earn the trust of Coach Mike Budenholzer, so I expect that he will have a bigger role with the team next season, assuming he will be back.