The Atlanta Hawks quickly went from being the first seed in the Eastern Conference to a team without playoff aspirations, as they got rid of their entire core to hit the drawing board and start rebuilding.
Notably, this team has always fared well in the NBA Draft, but they can’t seem to hold on to their good players, which is a common problem for most small-market teams, as players want to go to a contender.
But, wouldn’t they be a contending team if they had kept every player they drafted over the course of the years? how would this team fare in the league? Let’s break it down with our projected starting five for them:
Guard – Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder was drafted 17th overall by the Hawks back in 2013. He was deemed ‘the German Rondo’ for his playmaking, defense and poor jump shot. Needless to say, he didn’t live up to the hype early on.
However, Schroder is now blossoming as a scorer and is one of the leading candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award. Sadly, he didn’t want to be a part of their rebuilding process and demanded to be traded.
Guard – Luka Doncic
Don’t get me wrong. Trae Young is a hell of a player and he’s got a huge ceiling, but he’s no Luka Doncic. The Hawks would’ve fared better off if they’d kept Doncic instead of trading him away to the Dallas Mavericks, as they’d had a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent.
Doncic can play both guard spots or even as a small forward. He’s got a ways to go in the defensive end, but is already one of the most dominant offensive forces in the league during his second season. He’s got MVP potential.
Forward – Kelly Oubre Jr
The Atlanta Hawks drafted Kelly Oubre with the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, and he looked like a major steal back in the day for his scoring ability and upside as a defender as well.
Oubre struggled to get minutes at Washington behind Otto Porter Jr, but is now proving to be a reliable 3-and-D player for the Phoenix Suns. He’s a solid 2nd scoring option and can efficiently score from all three levels.
Forward – John Collins
The Atlanta Hawks took John Collins with the 19th overall pick a couple of years ago and he’s the only player from our list actually still with the team. Needless to say, he was a major steal and has already outplayed his Draft stock.
Collins can play both forward spots and even some center. He’s improved a lot as a spot-up shooter, but is also a threat in the pick-and-roll. He’s improving as a defender, but has made great strides as one of the league’s rising talents.
Forward – Al Horford
Way back then in 2007, the Hawks took Al Horford out of Florida with the 3rd overall pick and while some people may think it was a reach, he later proved to be one of the smartest and most versatile big men in the league.
Horford is a master of positioning. He’s great at finding the open man and setting his teammates up. He does a little bit of everything, can create for others, rebound, block shots, and even hit some threes. Also, he’s an outstanding defender.