When the video of Zion Williamson giving the Hawks’ podium some love started circulating, Hawks fans’ optimism got as high as it was going to get in the minutes leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery. Moments later, they were very disappointed.
With Zion heading to New Orleans, it is time to focus on the big picture going forward: the Hawks have two lottery picks, as they will be selecting 8th and 10th overall. Things could have been worse: at least they successfully conveyed Dallas’ pick. They also have the 25th, 41st, and 44th overall picks. Travis Schlenk will be put to the test once again to hit on draft picks. He will also have to decide whether there is a prospect or potentially a young player worth moving these assets for.
At the end of the day, the future is bright for the Hawks. Schlenk comes from a franchise that built a dynasty on nailing draft picks, and he has proven to translate that ability with his early draft picks in Atlanta. He will still have a wide pool of talent to choose from, but it may be a bit narrower than they thought it would be leading up to draft night.
The new lottery system made for an interesting night in what will likely be a memorable night in NBA history. It will make many teams rethink tanking going forward.