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Atlanta Hawks roundtable: Who will be the team’s best player in 2018-2019?

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The future is the focus but what about 2018-19 only?

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In the dog days of August, fresh NBA content can be sparse but Peachtree Hoops cuts through the silence for an off-season roundtable series centering on the Atlanta Hawks. Part eight centers on finding Atlanta’s best player for ONLY the 2018-19 season.


  • Brad Rowland - This is very difficult. I will go down with the ship in saying that Kent Bazemore was the team’s best player in 2017-18 and he very well might be the best player at this moment. With that said, both Taurean Prince and John Collins have higher ceilings, even within the confines of this season. Without much conviction, I’m going to say Collins makes the leap required to “win” this honor but it will likely be one of the three players listed here, even if Trae Young takes the headlines.
  • Glen Willis - John Collins. The three point shooting and play-making he demonstrated during summer league play was impressive. I understand that it was summer league, but what I saw I think will very likely translate during his second NBA season. He has enough athleticism and burst to put those skills to use in an NBA environment. Most defenders he will see this season will struggle to keep Collins in front of them.
  • Graham Chapple - I think, right now, it’s Kent Bazemore but by the end of the season it could end up being John Collins, or maybe even Taurean Prince. But I think you have to give Bazemore that respect after a bounce-back season. He’s arguably the most diverse and developed player offensively and he’s able to get it done defensively too, adding to that his qualities as a leader on the court translating through his game on both ends (scoring game-winners and coming up with some big blocks and steals). So, I think it’s Bazemore for now but John Collins will certainly be knocking on this door soon.
  • Greg Willis - John Collins. Even though I expect Collins to struggle (at least to some degree) to adapt to a larger role, I expect that he and Trae Young will be the team’s best players this season. As Collins’ attracts more attention from opposing defenses, I think he will surprise with his patience, unselfishness and passing ability. If players around him make shots, he could be a bit of a stat sheet filler this season, adding some decent assist numbers to what should be respectable scoring and rebounding numbers.
  • Jeff Siegel - It’s still Bazemore, though Collins will give him a run for his money. Given what we saw from Bazemore last year, it’s fair to expect that he’ll continue to make strides as a secondary playmaker and will continue to give the high level of effort defensively to which we’ve become accustomed.
  • Josh Lane - If Kent Bazemore is still on the team, then it is Kent. If not, I believe John Collins holds a slight edge over Taurean Prince.
  • Rashad Milligan - Taurean Prince. I’ve always felt like Prince has had the most talent on the team and that he was the only one holding himself back. Now coming into year three, I think he knows who he is as a player and he’s seen flashes of what his career can look like. He’s put on some more muscle this summer and the attention that Young’s getting might be another chip on his shoulder. Prince loves to play with the underdog mentality and I know he was one of the players who tweeted last season he didn’t care who they drafted. Welp, the team ended up taking the most popular name in the draft, who’s already been in more promos than the rest of the team combined, minus Carter and Lin. Prince will quickly wake everyone who might’ve forgotten about him this summer up next year.
  • Sam Meredith - My feelings on Kent Bazemore are well known so I’ll give this honor to him. His advanced shooting numbers and assists suggest a huge year is coming for him. It would not surprise me to see Baze in the All-Star game this season, but I am not predicting that.
  • Xavier Cooper - Taurean Prince will most likely look like the most complete player by the end of the season. His 3-point shot isn’t just something he was good at for a little while. Prince is a real shooter. If you add defense and confidence, you have a player that is not only efficient, but efficient and confident enough to attempt a large number of shots. With Dennis Schroder out of the picture, I’m sure Prince feels like he’s best player and he might be right.
  • Zach Hood - Kent Bazemore. Bazemore is a high-end shooter as well as a high-end defender, and I don’t think there’s another Hawk than can boast an elite skill on each end of the floor. Playing alongside a play-maker like Young should be a welcome change for all Hawks, and with spacing being preached religiously by Lloyd Pierce, I expect Bazemore to score more this season while maintaining his efficiency.