DRAFT TRADE: Hawks acquire two future second-round picks in trade with Charlotte Hornets for No. 34 overall pick Devonte' Graham
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Areas Of Strength
The Hawks have acquired two keepers in recent drafts in Taurean Prince and John Collins, two young frontcourt performers who are sure to be key figures in the franchise’s ongoing rebuilding process. Having those two forward spots manned by incumbent young talents gives first-year Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce a solid foundation heading into a crucial draft and summer league season. It also allows the Hawks some flexibility in free agency, not having to worry about chasing down potential starters for those two positions. It’s not the same as having returning All-Stars in those spots, a luxury the Hawks had as recently as two seasons ago when Al Horford and Paul Millsap held those spots down, but it’s a starting point for Pierce and Hawks GM Travis Schlenk to attack the offseason task of fortifying the roster.
Schlenk inherited starting point guard Dennis Schroder and it remains unclear whether or not he thinks Schroder is the right fit as the leader of this team. Schroder has endured his share of high-profile mistakes, both on and off the court. You can’t seriously build a contending roster in this league right now without a solid player at point guard. And with no one else in the pipeline with the talent to push Schroder for his spot, the Hawks are in a dangerous position after signing him to that huge contract extension before the 2017-18 season.
Two Stats That Matter
5.1 -- The Hawks allowed 5.1 more points per 100 possessions than they did in 2016-17 (103.1). That was the biggest DefRtg increase in the league.
1 -- The Hawks are the only team that has ranked in the bottom five in offensive efficiency each of the last two seasons.
-- John Schuhmann
The Way To Go
With three first-round picks (3, 19 and 30) in this draft, the Hawks are operating from a position of power if they want to deal one or all of these picks for an established asset. But given Travis Schlenk’s history with team building during years with the Golden State Warriors, a top three pick in this draft should yield the sort of transformative player the Hawks can build the rest of the team around. Depending on where the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings go at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, the Hawks could get their hands on the likes of Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr. or Mohamed Bamba with that first pick. At 19 and 30 the Hawks can find some seasoned college talent capable of making an immediate impact (think the Lakers snagging Kyle Kuzma late last year) for a young team next season.
2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 102.4 (26th)
Defensive: 108.2 (21st)
G: DeAndre Bembry
G: Kent Bazemore
G: Dennis Schroder
G: Tyler Dorsey
G: Antonius Cleveland
G: Jaylen Morris
G: Isaiah Taylor
F: Taurean Prince
F: John Collins
F: Mike Muscala
C: Dewyane Dedmond
C: Miles Plumlee
G: Malcom Delaney (restricted)
G: Damian Lee (restricted)
F: Andrew White (unrestricted)
Recent Draft History
2017: John Collins (19), Tyler Dorsey (41), Alpha Kaba (60)
2016: Taurean Prince (12), Deandre Bembry (21), Isaia Cordinier (44)
2015: Marcus Eriksson (50), Dimitrios Agravanis (59)
2014: Adreian Payne (15), Walter Tavares (43), Lamar Patterson (48)
2013: Lucas Nogueira (16), Dennis Schroder (17), Mike Muscala (44)
2012: John Jenkins (23), Mike Scott (43)
2011: Keith Benson (48)
-- Sekou Smith