It’s been a terrific offseason for the Atlanta Hawks, continuing their impressive season and playoff run. They’ve gotten so many platitudes it can be hard to keep track. Most recently, though, they were said to have a perfect offseason. It’s a long way from just a few years ago when they couldn’t get out of their way.
To that end, and in light of their recent successes, we wanted to take a look back at past draft classes in team history.
Specifically, it is the first-rounders that delivered the best value we want to reflect on; players taken in the first round but outside of the lottery. That takes us all the way back to 1984 when the NBA first went to the lottery system.
The Atlanta Hawks have found great value outside of the lottery before
Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper are just the latest in what has been a string of good to great draft selections since Travis Schlenk took over. He built this team’s core organically, taking five players across three drafts that make up the foundation of this team’s present and future.
They’ve begun paying the price for that success by extending two of them this offseason.
His best work was taking Collins, one of the two to get an extension, who was selected with the 19th overall pick. He is the only non-lottery selection among the core.
The hope is that Johnson can be the next. Collins, however, isn’t the first non-lottery pick to outplay his draft slot for the Hawks. And many of the players who have donned the uniform in the not-too-distant past.