Ranking the best international players in Atlanta Hawks history

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 23: Al Horford
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 23: Al Horford /
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4. Dennis Schroder (Germany)

Schroder is the only active Atlanta Hawks player to make the ranking, and as a 23-year old leader of a depleted roster, he has the chance to end up much higher on the list. Last season, Schroder totaled over 1000 points for the first time in his career, as a first-year starter.

In comparison, Chauncey Billups, who Basketball-Reference’s Similarity Scores system gave Schroder and Billups an 83 (out of 100), did not score over 1000 points until his fifth season. As the best projected player on the 2017-18 Hawks, Schroder will have the opportunity to shoot the ball even more than his 15.4 shot attempts per game during the 2017 season.

So far in his career, Schroder has already climbed to 21st in team history in assists with 1258. If he matches the 499 assists he totaled during the 2016-17 season, Schroder would jump from 21st to 16th on the list, most notably leaping over Al Horford and Pete Maravich on the list. Coming into the 2017-18 season, there may not be a point guard that must take a bigger leap for the sake of his team than Schroder.

3. Dikembe Mutombo (Congo)

Mutombo arrived to the Hawks in 1996, after becoming one of the league’s most popular players. Selected with the 4th pick of the 1991 NBA Draft out of Georgetown, his defensive prowess (354 total blocks in 3 seasons at Georgetown) made him a game-changing prospect. With the Nuggets, Mutombo was named an All-Star in his rookie season, after averaging 16.6 points. 12.3 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game.

Mutombo signed a 5-year, 55 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Hawks before the 1997 season, and continued building the resume that eventually landed him in the Hall of Fame. As a Hawk, Mutombo was named to four All-Star teams, of which he started three (1997, 1998, 2002). Outside of Shaquille O’Neal, Mutombo was arguably the best and most popular center in the entire league during his time in Atlanta. Mutombo is nw one of the NBA’s biggest ambassadors, and was rewarded for his stellar NBA career with a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2015.

2. Al Horford (Dominican Republic)

Since being selected with the 3rd pick in the 2007 Draft, Horford has arguably been the most underrated player in the NBA. From 2007 to 2016, Horford was the only player in the NBA to average at least 14 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and make 100 three-pointers. Of the 7 centers to average 14 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, Horford led all in assists (1589), showing how unique his skillset is.

From 2009 to 2015, Horford was one of only three players to average at least 15 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, along with future Hall-of-Famers Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol. Through the 21st century, the Hawks have only had a handful of truly great players, and Horford may very well be the greatest of the group.