Atlanta Hawks: What Taurean Prince Trade Says About Team’s Future

Taurean Prince #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Taurean Prince #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks pulled off a shocking trade with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday that sent Taurean Prince to the Nest and Allen Crabbe to the Hawks, in addition to various draft picks on both sides. What does that trade mean for the future of the Hawks?

One day later, the Atlanta Hawks/Brooklyn Nets trade involving Taurean Prince, Allen Crabbe and three future draft picks is looking more and more like a mammoth win for Atlanta’s professional basketball team.

While this deal cannot be consummated until July 6 due to the collective bargaining agreement, when it is completed, the Atlanta Hawks will be sitting pretty with three first round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft (#8, #10, #17) and three second round picks (#35, #41, #44).

Obviously the Hawks will not be making all of these picks, but this does portend one major thing about the Atlanta Hawks’ future: They are still rebuilding and looking for young players to build the team around at all positions.

Though Taurean Prince produced some impressive highlights during his tenure with the Hawks, including a near game-winning three-pointer on the final day of the 2018-19 regular season against the Pacers, his basketball IQ and overall feel for the game could sometimes be lacking when he was on the court.

At times, it felt as if Prince was a black hole on offense – dominating the ball in an unhealthy way that ended up leading to bad offense. His defense also left a lot to be desired, despite looking the part of a rock-solid NBA defender with length and size.

With that in mind, the three first round picks the Hawks have in 2019 can be used to nab players with a better feel and more smarts in order to build an intelligent roster that works well as a team around one of the best passers in the NBA in Trae Young.

This was a no-brainer trade for the Atlanta Hawks, as anyone who has watched Prince over the past few seasons on the Hawks was likely underwhelmed, despite his clear physical gifts and terrific shooting stroke.

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Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has already proven he can work wonders in the late teens of the NBA Draft (with John Collins and Kevin Huerter in his coffers), so the 17th overall pick is right up his alley.