2009-10 Record: 53-29
Second place, Southeast Division
Lost in conference semifinals to Orlando
F Josh Smith
C Al Horford
F Marvin Williams
C Zaza Pachulia
G Jamal Crawford
G Mike Bibby
G Maurice Evans
G Jeff Teague
G Joe Johnson (unrestricted)
F Joe Smith (unrestricted)
C Jason Collins (unrestricted)
F Randolph Morris (unrestricted)
Areas of strength:
Some teams would love a solid power forward. The Hawks have two. And they both start. Only problem is Al Horford is on the floor masquerading as a center. Horford cracked the All-Star lineup this year and is usually good for a double-double, and in the right scenario would blossom as a 6-10 power forward. But that's also where Josh Smith toils, and he has grown steadily the last 3 seasons, maturing as a defender and inside scorer.
Hard to believe, but the Hawks are still paying dearly for passing up Chris Paul and Deron Williams 6 years ago. Since then, they had to sign Speedy Claxton, use a pick on Acie Law IV and extend Mike Bibby in his twilight. And they still lack a quality point guard. Bibby was noticeably slow this season. Jeff Teague showed early promise as a rookie but is unproven as a starter.
Two stats that matter:
No. 2 -- that's where the Hawks drafted Marvin Williams overall.
No. 5 -- that's what option Williams was in the lineup last season.
The way to go:
There usually aren't many pearls to be found at No. 24, but the Hawks should go looking in Kentucky for one. Either Eric Bledsoe, who helped John Wall at the point, or Daniel Orton, a 6-10 true center. Both are leaving Kentucky after raw showings as freshmen.