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Taurean Prince shows potential in Hawks’ debut

Taurean Prince had to wait longer than he expected to but he flashed plenty of potential in his summer league debut.

Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Taurean Prince finally made his debut with the Atlanta Hawks’ summer league team in Monday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Prince’s debut had been held up while waiting for the league to approve the three-team trade that sent Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers.

Prince took the floor on Monday despite not practicing with the team. He flashed plenty of potential but admittedly has some areas that he needs to clean up. Overall though he was excited to finally begin his pro career.

"It felt amazing,” Prince answered when asked about finally getting to put on a Hawks jersey. “Just being able to get out there and play with the guys that I've been watching practice this whole time, and now being able to get up and down with them and just get a feel for the NBA game, I feel great."

Prince finished with 10 points, two rebounds and four steals in 23 minutes of action. He was 5 for 11 from the field and missed both of his three-point attempts.

"I passed up some shots that I should've took. Defensively, I made some mistakes but it's my first one. You're going to make mistakes. It's just how you respond. I think I responded pretty well to every mistake I made. I knew where my shots would come from, it was just a matter of me taking them. I think I drove the ball pretty well and made some good decisions as far as passing.... We know what we need to do."

Hawks summer league head coach Taylor Jenkins was also pleased with Prince’s effort.

"First off, I'm very excited,” Jenkins said. “Obviously, we wanted him in our first game, but to get him out there and, you know, throw him into the mix with our guys. Did some good things. Did some things that he's going to need to work on, but very encouraged. He wants to get better. He plays really hard."

Prince was one of the more intriguing wing options in the 2016 Draft. He has that look of DeMarre Carroll as a guy who can be a fearless defender while also contributing at the offensive end of the floor. Jenkins doesn’t think that Prince will have much difficulty in transitioning from the college game to the pro game.

"Honestly, from when we watched him and we talked to him, and we've all seen him working out. I think he's picking up that stuff pretty quickly. The rotations may be a little bit different and responsibilities, but I think he's picking up stuff really quick, so I think him translating from college here won't be much of an adjustment for him."

The Hawks finished 2-1 in the preliminary round of summer league play. They will enjoy an off day on Tuesday before beginning bracket play on Wednesday.