Yet, Atlanta is just 6-17.
Frustration has been mounting within the Hawks organization at times and league sources say it resulted in an emotional locker room scene involving star point guard Trae Young following a recent loss.
After a 130-118 home loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday, one high-ranking team official was seen telling Young that the team would be getting him some help on the roster soon, according to multiple sources.
Atlanta ought to be careful about trading long-term assets for a short-term boost. The Hawks are 5.5 games and five teams out of playoff position. That’s a large deficit to overcome.
Sure, winning more this season would be nice. But Atlanta is in the midst of a rebuild. This is a young roster that should grow into a good team – in time. Trying to shortcut the process could just leave the Hawks less-equipped to win big down the road.
The Hawks are going through natural growing pains now. Young (29 points and eight assists per game) has been awesome overall, but he also contributes to some of the team’s major problems. His defense is abysmal, and he’s too sloppy with the ball. His supporting cast is not good, but Young must develop in his ability to do the little things.
It’s also unclear whether the team official meant an outside addition. John Collins will return soon from suspension. He’ll obviously help.
But the best thing for Atlanta would be Young working to improve his own shortcomings. The better his supporting cast gets – whether via outside acquisition and/or internal development – the more Young’s flaws will matter. As good as he has been in low-leverage regular-season games, Young has not shown readiness to carry a good team when the stakes get higher.