If you’re a fan of the tank, our latest report on the Hawks’ draft picks will give you mixed feelings.
Don’t look now, but Atlanta is 8-9 in their last 17 games after starting the year 6-23, and the scary part is they are not even playing with their full arsenal yet. Ever since John Collins returned, the rest of the Hawks key pieces have battled injuries.
Taurean Prince missed over a month with a pretty severe ankle injury. He’s just now fully recovering, starting for the first time in the Hawks last game against the Magic. And Kent Bazemore was injured in Cleveland on December 29th and will reportedly miss at least two more weeks, according to Kevin Chouinard – the Hawks’ writer for NBA.com.
That shows you how much this Hawks young core is improving. John Collins has become an All-Star, whether he winds up being one or not; the game appears to be slowing down for Trae Young as his efficiency continues to rise, and Kevin Huerter is already beginning to look like a steal with the 19th overall pick.
Fortunately, their winning ways have not affected their lottery position too much, as they would have the 5th best odds of landing the #1 overall pick if the draft were today and a 42.1% chance at picking inside the top four. It’s also worth mentioning that the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently have the sixth worst record in the Association, are 4.5 games ahead of the Hawks.
The exciting news in regards to the tank is that the Dallas Mavericks continue to fall out of contention in the Western Conference. They are currently 21-26, good for 13th in the Western Conference and a longshot to make the playoffs. That gives them the tenth worst record in the NBA, but that could begin to look even better if they continue to fall, as they sit just a game ahead of the Orlando Magic for the seventh-worst record in the NBA.
However, that pick is top-five protected for 2019, so it’s vital that they aren’t too bad, especially with the flattened out lottery odds that kick into place this year. If the Hawks can land Trae Young and possess two top-ten picks in next year’s draft, they can sleep a little easier knowing they passed up on Luka Doncic.