Former Atlanta Hawks draft picks make waves overseas

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The current Atlanta Hawks are getting set for a new NBA season while a pair of former Hawks are grabbing headlines for their overseas exploits.

Former Hawks big man Mike Scott was named MVP of the BSN championship game after leading the Gigantes de Carolina to the title. Scott, 35, had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in the title game. He averaged 21.0 points, 9.0 boards, and 2.2 assists in 26 games between the regular and postseason.

Scott was originally drafted by the Hawks in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft (No. 43 overall) and spent the first five years of his career in Atlanta making 281 total appearances with seven starts in that span.

He averaged 7.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in his Hawks career.

His best season came in 2017-18 with the Washington Wizards when he averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists and shot a career-high 40.5% from beyond the arc. Scott has also spent time with the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers in his nine-year career and retired with averages of 6.7 points, 3.1 boards, and just a hair under 1.0 assists.

The Gigantes went 27-25 during the regular season and 12-6 through the playoffs.

But Scott, who had a career longer than the average NBA player, was not the only former Hawks player to make the news for taking their game.

Hawks draft miss to play for Lebanon in FIBA World Cup

As Kevin Chouinard of pointed out, former Hawks big man Omari Spellman has earned a spot on the Lebanese National Team roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup which is set for the end of August.

Spellman, 26, gained Lebanese citizenship after “three months of uncertainty,” wrote Natalie Haddad of The on April 19.

He was the No. 30 overall pick in 2018, and the third first-round pick the Hawks made that year.

Former Hawks team president Travis Schlenk made nine selections in the first round of the draft
during his five-plus-year tenure. Two of those were dealt away on or soon after the draft: Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young and the pick that became Cam Reddish in 2018, and Jaxson Hayes to the New Orleans Pelicans, which netted De’Andre Hunter (via the Los Angeles Lakers) in 2019.

Only four players selected in the first round by Schlenk remain from those picks: Young, Onyeka Okongwu, and recent selections AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson.

The Hawks traded Kevin Huerter last offseason and John Collins this summer but they’ve found good value in almost every range. Spellman, however, certainly qualifies as one of the few total misses by the former Hawks’ architect.

Spellman averaged 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists as a rookie out of Villanova.

He was traded that offseason to the Golden State Warriors for center Damian Jones. Spellman averaged 7.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 49 appearances with the Dubs in the 2019-20 season but has been out of the league since then, traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 2020 trade deadline but never suiting up for them in a game.

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Just entering into his physical prime, perhaps this can be a path through which Spellman can work his way back into the league.