Who do the Atlanta Hawks take in the 2017 NBA re-draft

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks did extremely well in the 2017 NBA draft. This is when they started to rebuild the franchise and took John Collins with the 19th pick. He has gone on to be the Hawks’ longest-tenured player despite the protracted contract negotiations for his extension on his rookie deal.

To put it simply, Collins has been a star for the Hawks. Despite being taken a season earlier than Trae Young, Collins has never tried to be the man. He has deferred to the stellar offensive play of Young. While he can disappear, when Collins dunks, everyone listens. He has shown that while Young is like a knife through butter on offense, Collins is the rolling pin.

He has shown so much that Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report has him being taken with the fifth pick in the draft, even ahead of De’Aaron Fox who has the keys to the Kings franchise and is developing into a bright young star. However, if Collins is redrafted at No. 5, who is the 19th pick?

Who do the Atlanta Hawks take in the 2017 NBA draft?

According to Bailey, the Hawks would take Markelle Fultz who was actually taken with the first pick of this draft. This move does not make sense for the Hawks as they would have been tracking Young through high school, prior to his only season at Oklahoma.

Fultz has turned out to be a solid defender with a decent level of playmaking. However, there is no way he will ever get to Young’s level. So the question must be asked, is  Fultz the player that the Atlanta Hawks should take if 2017 was re-drafted? The answer has to be a resounding no.

While there are not many solid players left after Fultz, he is not a player who can move the needle. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but spending two picks in concurrent drafts on the same position for a rebuilding club seems wasteful and Travis Schlenk does not appear to be a wasteful person.

With players such as Thomas Bryant, Josh Jackson, and Chris Boucher still on the board, the Hawks would have been better taking one of these. At least two of them would fill the big man role that Collins has provided for the franchise over the years, despite some injury issues for Bryant.

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Given where they were in the draft, the Hawks did incredibly well to select Collins. While there are still some talented players that have come out of this draft, the Hawks did the best that they could in the position that they had.