There has been no greater critic of the Atlanta Hawks, and specifically Trae Young, than Bill Simmons. Although I'm a fan of Simmons and a loyal member of the subreddit dedicated to the Boston Sports Guy, I take great exception to his Hawks takes. I've written about it more than once.
So you could imagine my delight when his website The Ringer ranked the young core of every team in the NBA. The article, written by Zach Kram, used FiveThirtyEight’s player projections over the next half-decade. Only under-25 players qualify—specifically, those who won’t turn 25 until halfway through the 2021-22 season or later.
The very last team is the veteran-led Milwaukee Bucks. It makes sense, given most championship teams are older and often trade away younger assets to round out their rotation. So who was the best young core in the NBA? You guessed it, the Hawks. Here is an excerpt from Kram's article:
"The Hawks are wonderfully situated for both the present and future, not just with Young, the showstopper, or with Collins and Huerter—both recently extended—but with Onyeka Okongwu (13.2 WAR), De’Andre Hunter (13.0), and Cam Reddish (10.5) as well. That’s six different young Hawks with double-digit WAR projections through the next half-decade. They’d be in an enviable position even if they didn’t also have productive veterans like Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic."
Insert the Robert Redford nodding GIF. You can read the entire article by clicking here. It's satisfying to see the Hawks receive the recognition they are due. Team President Travis Schlenk deserves his flowers for the rebuild he was able to pull off so quickly. The Hawks are back in action tonight as they host the Detroit Pistons. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as we keep you updated with breaking news and analysis.