The Atlanta Hawks were the beneficiaries of their own due diligence last season. Despite dealing with numerous injuries, they still managed to make a deep run in the postseason. And they got glimpses of the potential of a young core that will seek consistency in the upcoming campaign.
Trae Young and John Collins both got new money this offseason after proving to be foundational pieces. Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish both had huge games with the former in particular furthering his resume as an all-around player.
This year’s crop of rookies — Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper — have drawn rave reviews since their names were called.
No one bats 1.000, however, and even Schlenk has a blemish on his otherwise pristine record.
Omari Spellman was the Hawks other first-rounder in 2018, the year they took Trae Young. A 6-foot-8 big man out of Villanova, he was supposed to offer some rim protection while spacing the floor.
He only lasted one season, getting traded to the Warriors for Damian Jones and a draft pick.
The Atlanta Hawks have had some head-scratching picks in the top of the draft
After a year there, another trade to the Timberwolves, and then the Knicks who waived Spellman in January. Still, as the 30th-overall pick, it’s hard to call it a complete bust.
And talent wasn’t his issue, conditioning was. The big man still shot over 34 percent from deep as a rookie and 39 percent the following season with the Warriors
As for the Hawks history, here are the five worst lottery picks in team history. Why just lottery picks? Because that’s when the misses hurt the most.