What awards could Hawks players be in contention for at the end of the season?

The Hawks may not be having a great season as a whole, but there are members of this team who deserve to be in contention for end-of-season awards.

Trae Young, averaging 27 & 11, deserves to be in contention for All-NBA
Trae Young, averaging 27 & 11, deserves to be in contention for All-NBA / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Trae Young - All-NBA Team

The Atlanta Hawks (22-29) may not be having a good season by anyone’s standards or expectations. But it is unquestionable that, despite his slow start this year, Trae Young has had an unbelievable season. With the new changes to the All-NBA teams meaning they are now positionless, I believe this improves Young’s chances of getting into an All-NBA team this year.

Looking at his averages of 27 points per game, 10.9 assists per game, and one of his best three-point shooting years, with 38% on eight attempts per game combined with a marked improvement on the defensive end with a noticeable increase in effort and his best year for steals per game at 1.5, there is definitely an argument to be made for Youn to be one of the 15 best players in the league this season. 

When compared with his other All-NBA Season in 2021-22, Young’s scoring is slightly lower, on slightly worse efficiency, but his assist numbers are up by over one assist per game and, as I said, his defensive effort and impact this year is a marked improvement from where he was two years ago. If Young can put together a good end-of-season run and just give his scoring a little extra push to tie it with his last All-NBA season and even just match his efficiency from that year (which he’s not far from), combined with his improved assist numbers, I don’t see any reason he shouldn’t at least be in contention for a spot on an All-NBA team. Individually, he has been one of the 15 best players in the League this year.

Obviously the argument against Young is the Hawks’ record and the desire for winning that seems to apply differently to all players and their stats. My response to people who say Young doesn’t contribute to winning and therefore shouldn’t be in consideration for All-NBA or other accolades is that it is not Young’s fault that our team has not taken the steps forward we wanted.

Saddiq Bey has been in a huge three-point shooting slump, Clint Capela’s finishing and dominance under the rim seem to be a shadow of what he was two years ago. And despite the leap Jalen Johnson has made, it just feels like some of the other Hawks around Young are unfortunately not playing like their best selves.

I hope Bey finds his shot again, that Capela  finds his form and starts finishing those dimes as consistently as he used to, and that the Hawks as a team really do come together and turn the record around because then that will also strengthen Young’s case for an All-NBA selection I believe he deserves from the way he played this year