The look at all 30 NBA teams continues with the Hawks as we reach the playoff teams in the count down of East teams. Check out previous teams by clicking on the team name: Hornets / Wizards / Knicks / Pistons / Cavs / Bulls / Magic.
The Hawks had a great offseason. The team had a good young core with Young, Collins, and Huerter and added a great mix of young talent and solid veteran role players. Reddish has one of the highest ceilings in the draft class but also needs time and the right coaches to help him get there. Hunter is an elite defensive presence that should help this team going forward. Fernando was a steal late in draft Crabbe, Parsons, and Parker all can help stretch floor and while they are bad contracts they allowed the Hawks to add more assets when they had the money to pay them. The Hawks might have had the best offseason in the East outside the Nets.
G: Trae Young
G: Allen Crabbe
F: Cam Reddish
F: De’Andre Hunter
C: John Collins
Bench: Kevin Huerter, Jabari Parker, Chandler Parsons, Evan Turner, and Alex Len
This lineup could be an elite offensive team if Reddish and Collins can both peak. The issue will be on defense which is why Hunter was such a big deal. Jabari Parker is another liability on defense, but really has some potential and could be another big upside player. Huerter could be starting, but the veteran leadership from Crabbe could be more important. This team is a perfect fit in the modern NBA with speed and shooting ability. Collins at the 5 could be an issue defensively against some bigger Centers, but he will also create a mismatch for them on the other head.
Prediction: 38-44 (8th in East) / 1st Round Exit
I think the Hawks take a massive step forward after a rebuilding year last year. The Hawks won 29 games with far less last year. Now the team is young and should be a gritty team that plays hard for 82 games. Look for the Hawks to be similar to the Kings last year, but in the East, they make the playoffs (despite being slightly worse than the Kings). I have them winning the tiebreaker over the Magic due to the way they match-up with Orlando and Trae Young’s ability to take the next step.
The Hawks have a great future and a young cast. They will have upwards of 70 million dollars next offseason before they have to start resigning the young talent. They should be able to add solid Free Agents to go around the young talent and this team could quickly get back to the top of the East. The Hawks might have the brightest future of any non-top 3 teams right now. The Hawks have never been a top market for Free Agents and likely will have to settle for 2nd tier players which will make them a top 4 team in the east around the young stars, but Atlanta is a big city with lots to do. Maybe the Hawks can make a great pitch and really become the best team in the NBA in 2-3 years.
*Everything in this article was discussed with Louie Snyder