Remember when the Atlanta Hawks won 60 games, earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference and were led by a five-man unit of Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll?
That was in 2015 — and now, not one of those names remains.
So it is perhaps fitting that ESPN projected the Hawks to finish with the worst record in the Eastern Conference next season, with around 27 wins.
“RPM has long been low on the Hawks’ talent, and that certainly hasn’t changed with the departure of Millsap,” ESPN wrote. “Remarkably, Atlanta has just two players projected to be better than league average by RPM: likely starting big men Dewayne Dedmon and Ersan Ilyasova.”
All the above makes sense — as aside from starting point guard Dennis Schroder, most casusal fans would have a hard time figuring out the Hawks’ starting five.
The depth chart probably looks something like this: Schroder at point; Ilyasova at power forward; Dedmon at center; Kent Bazemore at small forward; and Marco Belinelli at shooting guard.
That’s not exactly Dominique Wilkins, Moses Malone and Reggie Theus, or anything close. But new general manager Travis Schlenk is in his first year on the job, and this is just the beginning of what he hopes to accomplish.
He clearly has a long way to go.
But are the Hawks on their way to last place in the East? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and get the conversation started.