As we can see so far in the season, the Atlanta Hawks look to be going into rebuilding mode.
They’ll most likely have a top 3 pick heading into the upcoming draft. The Hawks also have multiple picks in the years to come. This is good news for the team because they’ll be adding more talent to a team that already has young proteges ready to compete in the future. All of this sounds good… but what if this rebuilding thing doesn’t work out?
Think of teams such as the Sacremento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, and Orlando Magic. At some point, these teams decided to blow it all up and start fresh, and in some years be competitive. These teams have been picking in the top 10 for years now, and they haven’t really improved.
Is it because of bad coaching? Maybe they picked the wrong prospect? Either way it goes, these teams had a goal in mind and have yet to reach it. The 76ers have been piling up draft picks since 2012 and they’re just now getting it together.
This isn’t to say that going down the rebuilding route doesn’t work at all. There are some success stories in the league. Teams like the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors have found some success in the draft in are now considered top-tier teams. That is where the Hawks want to be. The Hawks did not start fresh just to be the same team they were for the past 10 years, just with younger talent. The Hawks started fresh because they wanted to get over that hump and become a legitimate championship team in the years to come. So let’s step back and observe: can the young talent the Hawks have now take a leap and become bonafide stars in the league?
John Collins so far has looked like he’s going to be a star in this league. His play so far has reminded me of Blake Griffin when he first came into the league. Over the years, Griffin has improved his ball handling and has found a consistent jumpshot. Can Collins be that type of player, or will he just be that player that knows how to rebound well and hustle night in and night out? We’ll have to see if he can apply himself and be a top player in the league in the future.
Dennis Schroeder has proved to be a serviceable point guard, but can this be your point guard of the future? He still has some maturing to do and can be inconsistent at times. Yes, every player has there ups and downs, but Schroder still does things that make you question if he could lead a team to a championship. Taurean Prince has improved tremendously since last year. His 3- point percentage is better than last years, and he looks more comfortable in the system. But can he be your go-to guy? He’s either going to be as close to Kawhi Leonard or as close as a Demarre Carroll type player. Right now he looks more like a sidekick, which isn’t a problem at all, but if Dennis can’t get it together, who will help Prince?
Then we have Deandre Bembry. I’ve pointed out several times that Bembry has raw talent, and he can only get better from here. He can definitely be the Hawks Draymond Green with the way he plays. He could also be a Manu Ginobili type of player for the team, which may take a while but is possible. But right now all of that is up for grabs. We really can’t tell right now what Bembry is capable of. He’s shown flashes of being a good player, but can he keep it up?
Let’s not forget the top 3 pick the Hawks will probably have. That player will likely bring more to the table than any player on the Hawks right now in the future. But what if that pick doesn’t come along like projected? Or it takes him longer than usual to blossom? Everything the Hawks did this offseason would have gone down the drain.
Will the Hawks be stuck at the bottom for years to come, or will they actually make it to the top and become a dangerous team in the future? The last thing the Hawks need is a bunch of average players on the team, just to be mediocre for another 10 years.
Malik Brown (@_MalikATL)