The Atlanta Hawks are in for a rough season, but there may be hope yet as soon as the 2019-20 season.
With the Atlanta Hawks losing centerpieces Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard this season, Schlenk has quickly begun ushering in his new era of youth in Atlanta. The team now looks to belong to Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore, guided by the veteran presences brought in by the likes of Dewayne Dedmon and Marco Belinelli. With a young core and nearly half the team full of new faces, the team looks set to have their struggles next season.
In fact, the struggles will be so great that ESPN projects the Atlanta Hawks to have the NBA’s worst record, sitting at 27 wins. But Hawks fans shouldn’t be too bothered by this news. Yes, the decade-long playoff run will come to an end, but no, it’s not all bad in the ATL.
For starters, Hawk fans will look forward to the $200 million renovations scheduled for Philips Arena which will be complete by the commencement of the 2018-19 season. They will also get to witness the development of this year’s rookies John Collins and Tyler Dorsey into what they hope to be at least solid rotation players for the team.
Collins in particular is highly touted to become a star after his outing at Summer League. The next two years gives him the chance to develop his game to a higher echelon and expand his skill set. He will look to dominate the post as Dedmon does and maybe even expand his range like Ersan Ilyasova and newly acquired Luke Babbitt have.
The Hawks will also look forward to the 2018 Draft where they will be armed with 3 first round picks, one protected top 3 and one protected top 14, as well as a second rounder. This gives the Hawks the chance to find legitimate talents to fill out their squad ahead of the all-important 2019-20 season, when they will have ample cap-space to be a free agent hot spot.
Throughout the next two seasons, Schröder and Bazemore have the chance to create their own identity in the backcourt. Should they both decide they want to stay and commit to the process set in motion by Schlenk, they have a chance to become one of the NBA’s elite backcourt duos. Their partnership along with Atlanta’s young talent and whatever lucrative free agents they can attract could be a recipe for success.
That being said, nothing is certain, but everyone will speculate and analyze every aspect over the next few years. The Atlanta Hawks have a rough time ahead of them, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the fans will certainly be entertained in throughout.