Atlanta Hawks Try To Exorcise Demons In Coming NBA Draft

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks finished dead last this year in the Eastern Conference. They will try to fix that and exorcise past demons in this 2018 NBA Draft.

It doesn’t feel like it now. Watching Cleveland and Boston duke it out for the Eastern Conference title makes it seem like a long way in the rear view mirror. But, reality is that our beloved Atlanta Hawks, prior to this year, had a run where they made the NBA Playoffs for a solid decade. One major reason that epoch of excellence occurred was because of a 3rd pick in the NBA Draft. In just under a month, the Hawks’ new Front Office will try to replicate that move, and exorcise past 1st Round NBA Draft decisions.

If you are reading this, I assume you already know Hawks history. Especially, Atlanta Hawks Draft history and futility. Sometimes, though, a reminder can be instructive. The following is a list of the names of all of the Hawks’ 1st Round Draft picks, going back to 2000, and their corresponding draft slot (some years we didn’t have a 1st round pick and some we had multiple): Dermarr Johnson (6), Pau Gasol (3), Boris Diaw (21), Josh Childress (6), Josh Smith (17), Marvin Williams (2), Shelden Williams (5), Al Horford (3), Jeff Teague (19), Damion James (24), John Jenkins (23), Dennis Schröder (17), Shane Larkin (18), Adreian Payne (15), Kelly Oubre (15), DeAndre Bembry (21), John Collins (19).

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There are a number of takeaways from that list. First, we drafted Pau Gasol. Sigh. Second, how many of those guys made it in the League? Sigh. OK. It’s too depressing. I’ll get to the point.

The main takeaway here is that the Atlanta Hawks, while futile in almost every other single spot in the 1st round of the NBA Draft, had the 3rd pick twice and hit both times. Pau Gasol was the first, and we traded him for a local kid. Al Horford was the other. I think we can all agree that he turned out alright.

Travis Schlenk, and the newly revamped Atlanta Hawks Front Office, will be attempting their first foundation laying in this upcoming draft. They’ve already done the tear down.

That’s not all they’re doing, though. It is a full on, no-holds-barred exorcism. The ghosts of NBA Drafts past will be swirling and haunting and taunting.

The good thing for Hawks fans is that, despite larger draft trends, Atlanta has got the last couple of 3rd picks right.

Let’s just hope they don’t trade this one, if he is a 7-footer who can shoot.