Atlanta Hawks

The Joshes, Childress and Smith, provided excitement in their rookie season.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
2005 DRAFT SELECTIONS
No. 2, No. 31, No. 59 (from S.A.)
CURRENT FREE AGENTS
Tony Delk (player has the right to terminate contract)
Tom Gugliotta (unrestricted)
Tyronn Lue (unrestricted)
Michael Stewart (unrestricted)
Kevin Willis (unrestricted)
RECENT DRAFT SELECTIONS
2004: 6. Josh Childress, Stan.
17. Josh Smith, Oak Hill Acad.
34. Donta Smith, So. Illinois
37. Royal Ivey, Texas
42. Viktor Sanikidze, France
2003: 21. Boris Diaw, France
37. Travis Hansen, BYU
2002: 37. David Andersen, Kinder Bologna
2001: 3. Pau Gasol, Spain
34. Terence Morris, Maryland
2000: 6. DerMarr Johnson, Cin.
40. Hanno Mottola, Utah
57. Scoonie Penn, Ohio St.
By Bill Evans

When the 2004-05 season began: First-time head coach Mike Woodson headed into battle with a pair of proven forwards Al Harrington and Antoine Walker and two athletic lottery picks headlining a retooled roster that figured to avoid the cellar in a division that included the Charlotte Bobcats.

What happened? Charlotte won the season series against the Hawks, 3-1, which should tell you all you need to know about a 13-69 season that included a 28-game stretch late in the season during which the Hawks won only one game (and yes, they needed overtime).

Winning 13 games is not something you aspire to in Atlanta unless you’re name is Michael Vick. Heck, every pitcher in the Braves starting rotation might win 13 games!

As expected the duo of Harrington (17.5 ppg) and Walker (20.4 ppg) did the bulk of the scoring, at least until Walker was dealt to Boston at the trade deadline for two players who never played a minute for the Hawks (Gary Payton and Michael Stewart) and another who probably played too many (Tom Gugliotta). The team was 10-44 before the trade and 3-26 after.

Rookies Josh Childress and Josh Smith both showed promise – both averaged around 10 points and six rebounds per night. Aside from Harrington, they are the only players certain to be back in 2005-06 when the slate is wiped clean.

What now? Unlike the previous season, when the Hawks spent the end of the season winning meaningless games, this club’s 3-32 swoon to end the ensured the Hawks something they desperately need: a top three pick.

Though they became the first team in three years to have the worst record and NOT get the top selection, the second overall pick should provide a player who can contribute right away. They’ll also have the first pick in the second round (No. 31 overall).

In need of just about everything except young, athletic wingmen, would the Hawks pass on Marvin Williams? The top post player (Andrew Bogut) or the top point guard (Chris Paul, Deron Williams) available makes more sense.

The Hawks also need perimeter help. Can they use their ample cap room to entice one of the premier free agent shooting guards (Michael Redd, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson) to migrate South?