The Hawks surprised most of the NBA world when they elected to swap their 2015 first-round pick for a former first-round pick in Tim Hardaway Jr. I was one of the few that liked the move when it was made. There were not a lot of great options passed the first 10 picks in the draft, and Hardaway, who had shown he can play already, would be switching from one of the most inefficient offenses in the league to one of the most efficient. He was a 35% career three-point shooter, and Coach Budenholzer has already proven he can take once erratic players and fit them into his system.
However, through the first 21 games of the Hawks season, Hardaway has only seen the floor in 4 games, totaling 44 minutes played. It would be safe to say Hardaway is not off to the start he envisioned in a Hawks uniform. While it may be too early to call this one a complete bust, it certainly looks like one, so let’s take a look at some of the options the Hawks passed up on when they traded for the former New York shooting guard.
The Hawks orginally traded their #15 pick to the Washington Wizards, who selected the 6 foot 7 inch small forward out of Kansas. Oubre underachieved for the most part at Kansas, but his length, athleticism and shooting stroke were too much for most NBA teams to look past. He has played in 13 games for the Wizards this season averaging 2.7 points and 1.2 rebound in under 7 minutes a game. It has not been a terrific start for Oubre’s year either, but Oubre was always considered to be a project coming out of college. We will see in the coming years, if passing on Oubre was indeed a mistake.
Dekker was selected with the 18th overall pick by the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are a very deep team, so it was unlikely for Dekker to see a lot of minutes as a rookie anyways, but a back injury that seemed to linger with him from his college days has kept Dekker off the floor and will continue to keep him off the floor for the next 3 months. He has yet to attempt a field goal yet in the NBA, so there is no way to tell what the future holds, but I still think Dekker could have been the perfect fit for this Hawks offense.
Portis is another guy I was really high on coming into the 2015 NBA draft. He has great skill in the post, the ability to stretch the floor with his jump shot and a great rebounding rate. The Hawks were not in desperate need to add more depth in the post, especially with the addition of Tiago Splitter, but Portis could have been an exception given his talent. Portis was selected with the 21st overall pick by the Chicago Bulls, and was the steal of the draft in my opinion. He has only appeared in 3 games for the Bulls thus far, but has impressed in the little time he has been on the floor. He will get his chance, and be a very solid player in the NBA. The Hawks missed out on this guy.