Atlanta Hawks: Revisiting the Luka Doncic/Trae Young trade

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks made a decision back in 2018 that they wanted Trae Young as their franchise point guard. They traded back to pick five, in the process giving up the rights to Luka Doncic who was taken with the third pick. When the Slovenian first hit the court, a lot of NBA pundits believed the Hawks made a mistake.

Doncic has become a triple-double machine, collecting 34 in his two and a half seasons so far. He is averaging 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game in his young career. When he gets started, Doncic is incredibly difficult to stop.

Conversely, Young has only had three triple-doubles and is averaging 24.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 0.9 steals per game. Like Doncic, when Young gets going, he is incredibly difficult to stop.

Why the Atlanta Hawks made the right call.

Doncic, as mentioned earlier, is a triple-double machine. However, he has only taken the Dallas Mavericks to the playoffs once in two seasons. This was only after they added Kristaps Porzingis to help Doncic out.

While playoffs are not always the measuring stick for success when a player has been in the league for two full seasons. The Mavericks took an aggressive step forward with Porzingis, also getting Tim Hardaway in the trade.

The Hawks waited a little longer to make their moves, getting Clint Capela last season and then Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic this season amongst others. What they are doing is building a team around Young that is going to be competitive for a number of seasons and his play is going to lead them as a team, rather than the individual brilliance of Doncic.