The Tankers Series: Atlanta Hawks

Another NBA season is on the horizon, which means another team is tanking to acquire a high draft pick — The purposeful tactic of willingly losing as many games as possible, giving your team the best possible odds to obtain the first overall pick in the NBA draft.  A strategy utilized in all three of the major sports (NBA, MLB, NFL) to accelerate a rebuild, the NBA issued a warning last season to teams such as the Bulls with hope to curb the tanking process, but there really seems to be no end in sight anytime soon.

The tanking process began last season for the Hawks, as they finished the season (24-58) and the process appears to be gaining more traction for the 2018-2019 season, as the ESPN forecast projects Atlanta to win only 22 games.  The Hawks have the rights to their draft pick in this upcoming draft and with the trading of their best player Dennis Schroder, the franchise proved they are attempting to make their roster as inadequate as possible for 2018-2019.

This team is extremely young and after drafting three players in the first round this year (Trae Young, Omari Spellman, and Kevin Huerter) and finding a treasure in 2017 draft with the 19th pick, John Collins — Atlanta is clearly looking towards to the future instead of the present.  This season should be a throwaway season, used clearly as a developmental year for their young core.

Hawks fans keep in mind the number of picks that could be at your disposal for the 2019 NBA draft.  Atlanta has the rights to their own pick, the rights to the Dallas Mavericks first rounder as long as it isn’t top 5 and the rights to Cleveland’s first-round pick as it isn’t in the top 10.  Atlanta is positioned to secure the Mavs pick but the Cavs pick might be a close call.  Kevin Love and Collin Sexton could lead Cleveland to be middle of the pack type team or end up being one of the worst 10 teams in the league, nobody really knows.  Only time will tell if the draft order stacks up in favor of Atlanta.