Should Atlanta Hawks Re-Sign Taurean Prince This Offseason?

Taurean Prince #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Taurean Prince #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

A quick look at whether or not the Atlanta Hawks should re-sign Taurean Prince in the 2019 NBA offseason.

The Atlanta Hawks trading Jeff Teague in a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers was a huge boon for the Mike Budenholzer regime as the team’s head coach and General Manager.

In a reign that was defined by short-term thinking such as letting both Al Horford and Paul Millsap walk in free agency with no recompense as well as the signing of Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore tom mammoth deals, the trading of Jeff Teague was a great decision by the staff at the time.

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The main boon of the Teague trade was nabbing the 12th overall pick from the Utah Jazz, which ended up being Taurean Prince out of Baylor.

Prince has seen his role shift in his first three seasons in the NBA, and now, ahead of the final year of his rookie-scale contract, he will be eligible for a rookie extension this offseason and if an extension is not figured out, Prince will be a free agent in 2020.

The question is: Should the Atlanta Hawks prioritize Prince this offseason?

In his three-year career with the Hawks, Prince has risen from low-usage rookie to a major part of the offense in his second season – especially after Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore were injured to end the 2017-18 season.

In 2018-19, Prince got bitten by the injury bug, and his games played fell from all 82 in 17-18 to only 55 in 18-19. Though his numbers remained steady, his role as a lead offensive initiator got usurped by Trae Young.

So where does that leave Prince? To be sure, almost any team in the NBA would love to have a fairly young (Prince turned 25 in March) sharpshooter from distance with good positional size and the tentative ability to guard multiple positions.

Of course, Atlanta Hawks brass as well as Hawks fans know that Prince has rarely expended much effort on the defensive end, though his scoring explosions in his second season were a tantalizing glimpse of what his future could bring.

If Prince is looking to get fully paid, then the Atlanta Hawks might not be the answer for him. However, if the team offers him a decent salary (such as the Josh Richardson deal of 4 years/$42 million), then he would be an extremely attractive trade chip for the team going forward.

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Even if they can’t get a trade done, that is an excellent price for a young player that still might have a wee bit of upside left to explore. The Atlanta Hawks have a big decision about Prince on their hands, and we shall see how General Manager Travis Schlenk handles it.