As I stated in my last post, the beginning of this journey I am calling the Good Call Hawks is the 2004 NBA Draft. Let me remind you of what is going on with the Hawks. The Atlanta Spirit just announced the closing of the purchase of the Hawks on March 31st. The Hawks ended the season with a 28-54 record, good for 12th in the east, and was led by the trio of Jason Terry, Stephen Jackson, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim until Abdur-Rahim was traded to the Blazers for one day of Rasheed Wallace. Meanwhile the Pistons soundly beat the Lakers in the finals 4-1.
At the draft, the Hawks have a pleathora of picks that are intended to be used as the backbone of the rebuilding team. The Hawks have the 6th, 17th, 35th, 38th, and 43rd picks in the draft. While the smart thing to do would be to trade up for the 1st pick to snag Dwight Howard, that is not an option due to the rules of the game.
The 6th pick presents a tough choice, even with hindsight, but the choice to not take Childress is quite easy. Instead the choice is between Deng, Iguodala, and Al Jefferson. While I would normally lean toward the big man, I'm not a huge fan of Jefferson. He keeps ending up on poor teams, and I don't think it's a coincidence. That leaves Deng and Iguodala, who are actually quite similar. While Deng's offensive game is a little more polished, neither are able to carry the offense. Deng is a better shooter, but Iggy is a better defender so I am going to take Iggy with this pick.
The next pick is the 17th, which also presents a tough choice. The options are Josh Smith, Kevin Martin, Anderson Varejao, or Jameer Nelson. I think Nelson is off the table pretty quick compared to the other players. Also, I think I would pass on Martin for the same reasons outlined with Jefferson. While he can pour in the points, it never seems to translate into wins. That leaves Smoove vs. Varejao. While Smoove tends to drive everyone crazy with his shot selection, I think he presents a much more versatile option than Varejao. Plus, I think a better team and more disciplined players surrounding Smoove will push him to be more disciplined himself.
The next three picks are a little easier because there is not much talent left. The only two players left that have had any success by any standard are Chris Duhon and Trevor Ariza, so they will be taken with the 35th and 38th picks respectively. For the 43rd pick, since there really is no other decent alternative, I'm going to take the undrafted Damien Wilkins. For a rebuilding team coming off a 28-54 year, I think getting a Wilkins back invovled with the club will at least put some fans in couple of seats.
So wrapping up, that's Iggy, Smoove, Duhon, Ariza and Wilkins.