Atlanta Hawks: Team Awards at Quarter-Season Mark

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Rookie of the Year: Trae Young

While 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter has looked quite sprightly since being elevated to the starting lineup and 30th overall pick Omari Spellman is a live wire on the court to be sure, one Hawks rookie has lit up the ATL – not so much with his shooting, but with great passing.

Say it with me: “ICE TRAE!”

That’s right, seeing as Trae Young is pretty much the whole show for the Atlanta Hawks, it goes without saying that Young is easily the Rookie of the Year at the quarter-season mark.

Beyond that, he completely deserves the honor as well.

First off, the bad stuff. Trae is last (438 out of 438) in defensive real plus/minus, a catch-all statistic from ESPN that estimates a player’s impact. Young is a full 1.1 points lower than the next-worst defender, the Clippers’ Lou Williams. It shows on the court too, as Trae’s quickness on offense does not translate well to the defensive end, where he gets thrown around like a rag doll for the most part.

However, his work on offense has been truly excellent (beyond his outside shot not falling). Where Young is truly transforming the Hawks is with his passing, which is exactly as advertised – if not even better. Among all players (not just rookies), Young is 5th in total assists with 176, 7th in assists per game with 7.6 and 4th in assist percentage at 41.5 percent.

Seeing as those passing numbers place him among elite company like Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden and Ben Simmons, it’s safe to say that Young deserves to be named the Atlanta Hawks ROY at the quarter-season mark.