ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks added a new floor leader to their rebuilding effort by acquiring point guard Trae Young from the Dallas Mavericks in Thursday night’s exchange of NBA draft picks with the Dallas Mavericks.
The Hawks drafted guard Luka Doncic of Slovenia with the No. 3 overall pick and then traded rights to Doncic to Dallas for rights to Young, the No. 5 overall pick, and a 2019 first-round pick. The trade was announced at the draft.
With their second of three first-round picks, the Hawks selected shooting guard Kevin Huerter of Maryland at No. 19 overall.
Young and Huerter give the Hawks two strong outside shooters. Huerter made 42 percent of his 3-point shots as a sophomore last season at Maryland while averaging 14.8 points per game.
Young led the nation with his averages of 27.4 points and 8.7 assists for Oklahoma. He is the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season.
The 6-foot-2 Young scored at least 40 points in four games and tied a Division I record by recording 22 assists in a game.
Young’s deep 3-pointers earned him comparisons with Golden State’s Stephen Curry, but Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said he was won over by Young’s floor leadership.
“We love his ability to pass the ball, to make other players better with his court vision,” said Schlenk, a former assistant GM with the Warriors. “Obviously he gets a lot of notoriety for his long-range shooting, but I think his ability to pass the ball is what we really liked about him.”
The Hawks’ decision to acquire Young likely means veteran guard Dennis Schroder’s future with the team could be short-lived.
This is not the first time the Hawks have quickly traded the No. 3 overall pick. In 2001, the Hawks made Pau Gasol the No. 3 overall pick and then traded his draft rights to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
Doncic was Atlanta’s highest draft pick since 2007, when center Al Horford was the No. 3 pick.
The Hawks’ third first-round pick is No. 30. They also have the No. 34 overall pick in the second round.
The trade for Young was not a major surprise. With so many draft picks, Schlenk said last week he was entertaining numerous trade offers.
The Hawks, who finished last in the Eastern Conference last season, will continue their rebuilding effort with Young and first-year coach Lloyd Pierce.
Young will give Pierce a new scoring weapon.
“Obviously his ability to shoot the ball in today’s NBA, the 3-point shot, is very important,” Schlenk said. “What really separates him with his shooting is his ability to shoot off the dribble. You don’t see that in a lot of guys and he possesses that.”
Young joins an Atlanta roster which returns few set starters. Forward-center John Collins showed promise as a rookie last season, and forward Taurean Prince is another young piece of the rebuilding effort. Veterans Kent Bazemore and Dwayne Dedmon are under contract for next season.
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