Atlanta Hawks: Grading Tony Snell’s season to the All-Star break

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the many offseason moves made by the Atlanta Hawks was the trade of Dewayne Dedmon to the Detroit Pistons. In return, they received Tony Snell whose $12.1 million deal is one year shorter than Dedmon’s at similar money per season.

The move had the hallmarks of a salary dump, particularly when it was announced that Snell would miss the first part of the season. He actually missed nine games through injury before finally making his season debut in a blowout win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

In six of his first nine games for the season, Snell had six games where he did not get ten minutes of playing time. He also took only 18 shots in all of these games, 16 of them were from deep. The fact he is averaging 5.1 points per game is a testament to how he has played since becoming a starter.

Tony Snell’s highlights and lowlights for the first half of the season.

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The obvious lowlight for Snell this season was the injury that stopped him from getting on the court. As a new player, this was a crucial time for Snell to establish himself in the rotation, which he was not able to do.

It seems that if you were not part of the initial ten games, previous coach Lloyd Pierce struggled to integrate new players into getting regular playing time. In, what is horrible luck for the team, Snell became a starter due to injuries to De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.

While Snell will not remain in the starting lineup when Hunter returns, he is guaranteed to get minutes under new coach Nate McMillan. Snell is leading the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, going at an incredible 56.9 percent from deep.

However, the main highlight of Snell’s season so far was in the first game back from the All-star break against the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks were two points down with only seven seconds on the close. The ball is inbounded to Trae Young who drives and gets walled off at the edge of the paint.

Snell curves around from the corner to make himself available for the outlet pass. Young sees him and executes the pass perfectly into Snell’s shooting pocket. Snell, catches the ball and lets it go. The horn sounded as the ball was in flight and then it hits nothing but net. The Hawks win on the back of Snell’s 3-point shot and it was one of the best moments this year.

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The grade for Tony Snell’s first half of the season for the Atlanta Hawks

If Snell was being graded on the first quarter of the season, he would get a passing grade but it would not be a good one. Now that he has been given the starting role, he is showing why he has been able to carve out a career in the4 NBA.

Grade: B