Atlanta Hawks: 2020-2021 starters: locks, fringe guys, and break ins

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks’ starting lineup locks

Three guys for this Atlanta Hawks team should undoubtedly be in the starting lineup for the squad this season. Each of these players has established themselves as integral parts of the team’s future and given their health, will play major roles in the Hawks’ success this season.

The first is probably the most obvious. The future of the franchise. The reason all of these offseason moves were made in the first place.

Atlanta Hawks
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Trae Young – Point Guard

The drafting of Trae Young in 2018 ushered in a new era of Atlanta Hawks basketball. He’s proved to be the Hawks’ best draft pick in recent memory, coming in second in Rookie of the Year votes to Luka Doncic and even snagging some most-improved player votes this past season.

In 20 fewer games than his rookie year, Young raised his field goal percentage from 41 to 43 percent and his three-point percentage from 32 to 36 percent. If percentages don’t do it for you, Young almost averaged a 30-piece last year, coming in fourth behind James Harden, Bradley Beal, and Damian Lillard.

What he lacks in size and stature, he makes up for by being a certified bucket getter. One of the best point guards in the league heading into his third year, Young’s passing ability may be more impressive than his scoring. The Hawks have added scorers to their roster to alleviate some of the pressure from Young, so it should be fun to watch him create with the rest of this roster.

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

2. John Collins  – Power Forward

His future with the Atlanta Hawks has been widely discussed this offseason but if he’s on this roster, John Collins will be their starting power forward.

The signings of Danilo Gallinari and the drafting of Onyeka Okongwu had some Hawks fans speculating about John Collins’ future with the team. When you combine those additions with the fact that Collins will most likely be seeking a max contract when he becomes a restricted free agent next summer., it’s easy to see how some might jump to the conclusion that Collins’ days with the team are numbered.

The organization has since made it known that Collins isn’t going anywhere, at least not this season. Danilo Gallinari has also confirmed that he signed with the Atlanta Hawks under the assumption that he would be backing up Collins at power forward.

Collins should be looking to have his breakout year. After missing some time last year, he’ll get a full season with Trae Young, and a true center to alleviate some of his paint pressure.

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Clint Capela – Center

The Atlanta Hawks snagged Clint Capela last season in a four-team deal that should prove to be beneficial for all involved at some point.

The first question Hawks fans had was would Capela and Collins be able to work well together in a Hawks frontcourt. Though he never made his official on-court debut with the Hawks due to a heel injury. surrounding both Capela and Collins with shooters and playmakers like the Hawks have done should prove to work well.

Now just 26 years old and still on a fairly affordable contract, Capela will start this season healthy for the Hawks and look to provide immediate assurance in the areas of defense and rebounding. In the 39 games he played with Houston last year, Capela averaged 13.8 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks. Expect Capela to step in and immediately give the Hawks the big man presence they’ve so desperately needed for the past several years.