“Sweet” Lou Hudson was a Hawks staple in the late 1960s and 1970s. He played with the team for two years in St. Louis and made the move with the franchise to Atlanta in 1969. Over that time the team made the playoffs seven consecutive years, including three conference finals appearances. Hudson was an integral part of all of those teams making consecutive All-Star appearances from 1969 to 1974.
However, it’s the years that follow which give the franchise and the player a bad look. After 1973, the team never saw the playoffs again with Hudson. The team only averaged 31.5 wins per season. For Hudson, his stats took a serious decline following an injury in 1975. He was able to come back and play 81 games the following year but, he wasn’t quite the same and his scoring declined every season from there on. Over the next two seasons, the Hawks held on to Hudson, which only saw his trade value drop until eventually being traded to the Lakers for Ollie Johnson, a journeyman role player.
The Hawks could have definitely gotten more back had they chosen to blow things up sooner. Hudson was a good scorer of his day, a Hall of Famer, but he wasn’t great, not someone to build a championship team around.