Atlanta Hawks: Can Kevin Durant Save Legacy with Hawks?

John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick pondering of Kevin Durant playing with the Atlanta Hawks next season.

In a recent segment of the incredibly entertaining Fox Sports 1 show Uninterrupted featuring former NFL player Shannon Sharpe and takesman extraordinaire Skip Bayless, Sharpe is debating Bayless about the merits of claiming Kevin Durant is a better player than LeBron James.

Of course, slamming James is one of Bayless’s most fertile ground as a take artist, so it’s no surprise that the duo would be debating this question.

Sharpe responds with a lengthy diatribe aimed at Skip in which he elucidates the statistical profile of each player and ends with an interesting tidbit:

As you can see, Sharpe thinks Durant could push himself into the conversation of being as good as James if he were to sign with the Atlanta Hawks and lead this young team to the promised land of the NBA Finals.

First off, could he do it? The Hawks won 29 games last season, which was far more than their point differential intended, and the team is chock-full of young, untested playoff performers such as John Collins, Trae Young and Kevin Huerter.

Could Durant and Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce whip these young guns into shape in order to make a feasible playoff run – let alone making it to the NBA Finals?

The realist might say “of course not,” but the optimistic Atlanta sports fan (of which very few remain) might respond “oh yeah!”

Of course, we have previously explored the idea that Durant could be one of the big-name free agents the Atlanta Hawks aim to sign this offseason. Since Durant has been linked to the New York Knicks since last offseason, why would he change courses?

There are many variables, but if the Hawks land the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, perhaps Durant thinks he could be the veteran leader of a scintillating Hawks team that would have a starting lineup of Durant, Young, Huerter, Collins and Zion Williamson.

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While unlikely, I doubt I’m the only Atlanta Hawks fan that got goosebumps after reading that last sentence. Stranger things have happened!