Travis Schlenk has done a masterful job building the Hawks roster since being hired in 2017 as he completely rebuilt the team from the ground up. With his first pick as general manager, Schlenk drafted John Collins 19th overall, which is especially difficult. Then in the following draft, Schlenk selected the city’s messiah, Trae Young, but also brought in Kevin Huerter later in the first round. Even though Luke Doncic fell into his lap, Schlenk traded the rights to Doncic in what would return Cam Reddish the following draft. De’Andre Hunter, who is already an All-Star caliber player, was taken a few picks before Reddish in the same draft.
In last year’s draft, Schlenk selected Oneyka Okonguwu, who seems poised to be a menace on the defensive end and efficient near and around the rim on the offensive side. Schlenk not only nailed the draft, but his free agency resumè is equally as impressive. He flipped a draft pick for Clint Capela while bringing in Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Rajon Rondo as free agents. Three of those four players were critical in the Hawks playoff run, but even with Rondo, Schlenk recognized his mistake and corrected it by trading for Lou Williams.
The only glaring weakness on the roster is a backup point guard with Lou Will hitting free agency. The Hawks front office will look to bring back Collins this offseason, but even still, there aren’t many areas to address. I expect Schlenk to solidify the backup point guard position through free agency and re-sign Collins, which will give him maximum flexibility in the draft to select anyone he sees as a fit.
The offensive pedigree of the team is obvious. Trae Young is one of the best facilitators in the Association, all while scoring at all three levels. Kevin Huerter has developed into a valuable two-way player who can get his own shot. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish are the definitions of “three-and-D” wings who are only ascending as they find their confidence offensively. John Collins’ high energy and ability to do many things at a high level make him extremely valuable. Clint Capela has proven to be an elite defender; Bogi and Gallo are both capable of getting a bucket at any time as well as knocking down three-pointers.
The Hawks’ don’t NEED anything in this draft. More depth could be critical for the wings as we saw injuries to Hunter and Reddish force Nate McMillan to play Solomon Hill more than enough minutes. Atlanta will be well-positioned for several years to take the best player available in the NBA draft, whether that be a guard to backup Trae Young this year or another wing to provide depth behind the bevy of wings Atlanta has.