Late-Bloomers? 3 Atlanta Hawks Who Had Good Careers After Leaving Team

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Atlanta Hawks
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 24: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks defends against Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs at Philips Arena on January 24, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Boris Diaw

Drafted by the team with the 21st overall pick in 2003, Boris Diaw spent the first two years of his 14-year career on the Hawks. Atlanta, who tried to use the 6’8 power forward as a guard, played him a bunch off the bat, to mixed results.

He didn’t show much on the offensive end but handled himself well defensively. After his second season in the league, Diaw was used as the premier piece in a trade with Phoenix wherein the Hawks acquired a future seven-time All-Star.

Diaw and two future firsts were sent to the Suns in exchange for Joe Johnson. It was a win-win trade, with Diaw instantly turning a corner in the desert, winning the ’05-’06 Most Improved Player Award and Johnson showing his ability to be the focal point of an offense in Atlanta.

The French forward spent a few more seasons in Phoenix before heading to Charlotte where he headlined some pretty bad teams. He then joined the Spurs in the twilight of his career, acting as one of the team’s most important role players during their 2014 Championship run.

While the Hawks probably would do the Johnson trade over again if, given the chance, they did lose one of the most well-rounded players of this generation in Diaw who had a more than solid career post-Atlanta.