Over the course of the years, some franchises seemed doomed to mediocrity or to merely reaching the playoffs with no real chance to actually compete for jewelry, entering a never ending spiral of being just a middle of the pack team.
One of those teams, especially during the last decade or so, has been the Atlanta Hawks, as the Georgia franchise settles for reaching the postseason but doesn’t have a competitive team, earning poor draft picks without having a real star or being an attractive market for big free agents.
Besides, if you don’t make the most of those draft picks, things can actually get pretty worse, and the Hawks haven’t been exactly the most accurate team during the draft. So, today we’ll take a look at the top 5 worst mistakes they’ve committed during draft night.
5. DerMarr Johnson (2000 NBA Draft)
The Hawks actually spent the 6th overall pick on the Cincinnati product just to watch him go with no significant achievement in a mediocre 7-year NBA career, averaging 6.2 points, 2.2 boards and 0.9 as a backup guard/forward that was only a part of the team for a full season before playing for 4 other teams in a 6 season span.
But, the worst part of this choice is the fact that they could have Jamal Crawford, who went just a couple of selections later. If that wasn’t enough, Hedo Turkoglu and Michael Redd were also a part of that draft, so you know they couldn’t be quite happy with what they got.
4. Josh Childress (2004 NBA Draft)
During the 2004 draft, the Hawks decided to go with the Stanford guard/forward also at 6th, but Childress was one of the biggest busts the league has seen during the last decade despite having a very good rookie season, leaving career averages of 9.1 points and 4.7 boards per contest on over 52% from the field.
Sadly, they could’ve used that pick to select some guy called Andre Iguodala, who went just 3 picks after him to the Philadelphia 76ers, and their wing problems would most likely be solved, or if they didn’t like Andre’s game, they could’ve gone with Luol Deng, one of the greatest scorers in the league during his prime.
3. Shelden Williams (2006 NBA Draft)
The 2006 draft was actually one of the most talent-loaded drafts of the last decade, so they must be totally regretting to select the Duke big man with the 5th overall selection, only to watch him play for 8 different teams in a 6 year span in the league, averaging 4.5 points and 4.3 boards through his career.
But, what definitely makes this one of the greatest mistakes in franchise history is the fact that they could actually draft either Brandon Roy, Rajon Rondo, J.J. Redick or Rudy Gay, guys that went 6th, 21st, 11th and 8th respectively. What a bummer.
2. Marvin Williams (2005 NBA Draft)
During the 2005 draft, the Hawks were still a horrible team (and how wouldn’t they be with all those poor prior drafts), being the owners of the 2nd overall selection just to waste it on Marvin Williams, a guy that’s averaged 10.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, some pretty decent numbers for a backup forward.
Nevertheless, they could’ve had All-Star caliber talent on their roster if they decided to go with, I don’t know, Deron Williams, Who was actually picked one spot below Marvin? Still not convinced? Well, they could’ve also gone with Chris Paul, the best point guard in the West, who was drafted 4th overall by New Orleans.
1. John Koncak (1985 NBA Draft)
At this point, you’re definitely thinking: What the hell could’ve been worse than passing on Chris Paul for Marvin Williams? Well, the answer is definitely drafting Koncak with the 5th overall pick, a mediocre backup center who spent 10 years in the NBA with averages of just over 4 points and 4 boards per contest.
But, why is that worst than passing on Paul? Well, if you look at that draft class, you’d find out that the Hawks actually drafted Koncak ahead of guys like Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley and last but not least: Karl Malone. Yeah, The Mailman himself.