Good And Bad From Draft Lottery

Atlanta Hawks Lloyd Pierce (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks Lloyd Pierce (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

We are all still recovering from the earth-shattering results of the Draft Lottery. The Hawks, who had a 10.5 percent chance of winning the lottery and a 42 percent chance getting a top-four pick, ultimately ended up with the 8th overall selection of the draft. That was about as bad as it could have gone for the Hawks own pick, which had an 8 percent chance of landing at 8. It happened. However, it’s not all bad, I guess because the Hawks gained the Mavericks pick Dallas slotted in at the 10th pick. A silver lining for a bleak night that was the Draft Lottery.

The Bad:

Let’s get the bad out of the way. The Hawks had a great chance, 5th best actually, of winning the overall lottery. Those odds felt pretty good yesterday. Now, the stark reality has hit the Hawks in the face: no Zion, not even a top-five pick to cushion the blow. The Hawks couldn’t even catch a break when it came to the Dallas Mavericks pick. The Mavs best odds were at the 9th slot, which had them around fifty percent to land that picks. Instead, the Mavs got the 10th pick, their second highest odds of any pick at 25 percent. In a night that could have seen the Hawks franchise transform overnight, we instead got two top-ten picks, 8 and 10, in a draft with supposedly 3 difference-making players, Zion, JA Maront, R.J. Barrett.

Speaking of difference-making players, the Hawks have one in Trae Young. The reason Trae Young is on the Hawks roster is that the Mavs and Hawks traded draft choices, Trae and Luka Doncic, on draft night last year. In the exchange, the Hawks shipped Luka off for Trae and a first-round draft pick with protections. After the bad start to the season for Dallas, fans of the Hawks were optimistic of getting the Mavericks draft pick this season. After many nights of scoreboard watching, it looked promising the Hawks would get the Dallas pick. And indeed, the Hawks did get Dallas’ pick: the tenth pick. It is a top-ten pick so maybe I’m being too harsh, but the Trae Young-Luka Doncic trade feels more like a loss today then it did a few months ago. Trae has been great so let me preface that before this, but the Hawks traded the most NBA-ready rookie last season, maybe ever. The Hawks had a chance to get a once in a generation player last season, but instead, have Trae Young and the tenth pick in this year’s draft.

The Hawks did handle themselves with dignity this season by not going full-Knicks and losing every game they could while stripping the franchise to the foundation. Instead, the Hawks played hard all season, tried to develop their young players, and won as many games as they could. It felt inspiring, especially after watching what New York did this season, only to land the third-pick in the draft. It could have been a lot worse for Atlanta, they could have landed the ninth-pick(Oh, no), but it’s hard to not feel the letdown after having such high expectations for a special night.

The Good:

John Collins and Kevin Huerter. That’s all I should have to say. Both players were picked outside of the lottery, coincidentally both at 19, by Travis Schlenk. Schlenk, since becoming the GM in 2017, has been able to pick players outside of the lottery that has come to Atlanta to become contributors on this team, starters in some cases. Schlenk also made a new for himself when with the Warriors by finding Draymond Green in the second round. Picking later in the lottery shouldn’t be an issue for Schlenk and the Hawks. At least that’s what have to believe until we are proved otherwise.

The other good news for the Hawks is they have two top-ten picks. Yes, it’s an 8th and 10th, but that is two more players, maybe impact players, who can come in to help Atlanta move further from this rebuild they have been stuck in. Players like CJ McCollum and Paul George were picked tenth the years they were drafted. It’s a spot where talent can be discovered if you are lucky and do your due diligence. The option of players Schlenk and fans had in mind need to be readjusted. Zion won’t be there for the Hawks. Most likely, guys like Jarrett Culver and De’Andre Hunter won’t even be there for the Hawks at eight. That doesn’t mean there isn’t talent on the board. The Hawks will just have to dig it up for themselves.