Quote by What happened with Paige and the rest?

13/01/2017

Taurean Prince, F, Atlanta Hawks

Every fan of college basketball will remember the answer Taurean Prince gave to a journalist asking why Yale outrebounded his Baylor team (not that he is being missed, by looking at the AP ranking) in a huge upset last March.

 

The senior forward was pick #12 for the Atlanta Hawks, which was both good and bad thing for him. It was good because coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff are among the best in players development (just think of the career arc of DeMarre Carrol, now in Toronto, Jeff Teague, now with the Indiana Pacers, and Kent Bazemore). If he will let himself be coached, he will improve most likely than not. But he was always coachable. In his 4 years of college his numbers improved while his shooting percentages went down, a usual occurrence when the volume of shots goes up.

The bad part of it is that the Hawks roster has roughly 6 players who could play at his position, and most of them were part of the group that won 60 Regular Season games two years ago. He had his chance to play in 22 games out of 38 and even then, only played 10.6 minutes per game. In his time on the court, he did not do much to carve up a role for himself. In a small sample size, he has been shooting 32.1% from behind the arc, but it gets worse: 0.7 turnovers per game in just over 10 minutes will force coach Bud to hold him back.

However, the biggest issue is team defense and off-ball defense, much like any other rookie. In a short stretch in D-League (4 games, going from December 29th to January 6th) he averaged 21.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals in 30 minutes per game. His D-League assignment was cut short after the Kyle Korver trade, but he still could not get on the floor. For a few days, it looked like the Hawks might blow it up and tank the rest of the way, a solution that would have allowed him and DeAndre Bembry to play real minutes, but it now seems Atlanta will live with the current roster. Did we mention that uncertainties are not helpful when developing rookies?