Looking into Brandon Goodwin’s future with the Atlanta Hawks.
One of the most interesting parts of last season’s Atlanta Hawks is how they handled the point guard position. The position (and the whole offense) was anchored by All-Star Trae Young, but outside him, they had no others to bring off the bench
Veteran Evan Turner was used as a point forward to start the season, but he dealt with injuries and played poorly when healthy. Fellow wings DeAndre’ Bembry, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter picked up slack at point when Young (who averaged 35.3 minutes per game) needed a breather.
Enter Brandon Goodwin, a two-way guard looking for a chance. After appearing in just two of the team’s first 31 games, the second-year guard suddenly became Young’s backup. He cemented himself in this role on December 30th, 2019, pouring in 21 points off the bench in a game that Young missed with injury.
In the next seven games, he averaged 7.7 points in 15.6 minutes per game while Turner racked up DNPs. He seemed to have the job. But on January 16th, the team re-acquired veteran quarterback Jeff Teague in a trade with Minnesota, pushing Goodwin down the totem pole.
He still had his moments down the stretch, including a 21-point outburst against Boston, but he also turned in his fair share of stinkers. It soon became clear that Lloyd Pierce trusted Teague to run the second unit more.
He was very hot and cold when given playing time, although when he was hot, he was boiling.
Goodwin did earn a multi-year contract from the team, breaking free from his two-way status. Although it’s not a certainty (Atlanta cut Jaylen Adams in Summer League months after signing him to a similar deal), Goodwin will likely be on the Atlanta Hawks roster in 2021.
Teague, meanwhile, is a free-agent-to-be, meaning the team could go back to Goodwin as Trae Young’s full-time backup? Should they?
Growing up Norcross ( a mere 25-minute drive from Atlanta), Goodwin became a fan favorite, although most believe the Hawks need another point guard behind Trae.
Across the draft and free agency, here are a plethora of options the Atlanta Hawks could look at to fill the Jeff Teague role from last season. Having Goodwin on the roster is a nice luxury for the team if they do draft a point guard, as they could play him as they take their time developing the younger prospect.
But unless we see something drastically change to start next season, Goodwin should not be the team’s long-term plan behind Trae Young. Can he be an end-of-the-bench, change of pace guy? Certainly.
But asking anything more than that is unrealistic at this point, no matter how likeable he/his story is.
What do you think of Brandon Goodwin as the Atlanta Hawks’ long-term backup?