The Atlanta Hawks have had their fair share of ups and downs throughout their history. However, most of them have been downs, as they haven't won an NBA Championship since the 1957-58 season, their only ring in franchise history.
And one of the biggest reasons why the team has struggled to go the distance is because of the questionable decisions their front office has done more often than not, as they don't usually make the most of their picks or fail to retain their stars.
However, if they were to keep all the players they drafted, they would have a strong chance of being one of the strongest contenders in the Eastern Conference. Today, we'll prove it by breaking down the team they could have if the player they drafted came back to the team.
PG - Jeff Teague
(19th Pick - 2009 NBA Draft)
Jeff Teague isn't an elite point guard but the best years of his career came with the Atlanta Hawks. He made it to the All-Star Game thanks to his playmaking, timely scoring, and ability to knock down big shots from beyond the arc when it mattered the most.
Teague's home was Atlanta and fans really suffered his departure. He could never live up to the same level once he left the team. And while he's not the most athletic player you'll find in the league, his basketball IQ can still help him make an impact coming off the bench for them, as he's proven in limited minutes.
SG - Luka Doncic
(3rd Pick - 2018 NBA Draft)
Trading away Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks is a decision that will always haunt the Atlanta Hawks. Don't get me wrong, I believe that Trae Young is going to be a superstar and they're definitely not regretting to have him around, but they could've had a once-in-a-lifetime kind of player.
No one, not even the most optimistic Mavericks fan thought that Luka Doncic was going to be that good that fast, so it's hard to give the Hawks a hard time for passing on him. But, should he return to the team that drafted him, he'd made them one of the strongest candidates in the East.
SF - Kelly Oubre Jr
(15th Pick - 2015 NBA Draft)
When the Atlanta Hawks drafted Kelly Oubre Jr and traded him away to the Washington Wizards, a lot of people thought that they were making a huge mistake. He had a huge upside and a rare combination of athleticism, scoring ability, and defensive skills.
And while he never panned out to become a superstar, now that the Phoenix Suns gave him a green light to shoot, he's proven that he has what it takes to play a huge part in a team and that could help a contender. Sadly, the Hawks didn't feel that way.
PF - John Collins
(19th Pick - 2017 NBA Draft)
The Atlanta Hawks landed a huge steal in John Collins, who slipped all the way to the 19th overall pick, mostly because of his age and lack of exposure. Now, he's one of the most promising combo forward in the league because of his versatility.
Collins can play at both forward spots and as a center as well. He's developed an efficient shooting stroke from beyond the arc and is a dominant rebounder on both ends of the floor. He's going to be a problem next to Trae Young for many years to come.
C - Al Horford
(3rd Pick - 2005 NBA Draft)
Al Horford was one of the most promising players coming out of the University of Florida back in 2005. And while he never reached that superstar level, he played a huge role for the Atlanta Hawks when they were a perennial playoff team in the league.
Horford is the ultimate versatile big man. He can score and defend in the post or on the perimeter and has an elite basketball IQ and playmaking ability for a guy his size. He's not going to impress you with flash plays, but he can get the job done on both ends of the floor, that's for sure.