Atlanta Hawks: 15 best NBA Draft picks of all-time

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Lou Hudson, St. Louis Hawks
(Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Honestly, it’s pretty much shame that “Sweet” Lou Hudson is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame. That guy was tremendous with the Hawks, first in St. Louis and mostly in Atlanta. He remains one of the best draft selections the team has ever made, as the Hawks took the wing No. 4 overall in the 1966 NBA Draft.

Hudson would make the All-Rookie first team in 1966-67, as he averaged 18.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30.6 minutes per contest. He would have his breakout season three years later. Hudson would make his first of six straight All-Star Games, all in Atlanta uniform. In 1970, Hudson was good enough to make the All-NBA second team. That winter he averaged 25.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

While Hudson played on seven playoff teams with the Hawks, he never won an NBA Championship. He would be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in September 1970 for Ollie Johnson. Hudson would play his final two NBA seasons with the Lakers before retiring from basketball in 1979 at 43 years old.

Though both his No. 14 jersey and his No. 23 jersey are retired by the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Hawks respectively, Hudson still remains out of the Basketball Hall of Fame. If he does ever earn Springfield enshrinement, it will have to be posthumously. Hudson died from a stroke in 2014 at the age of 69.