The Atlanta Hawks are in a transition phase and the entire league knows it. The team isn’t “done” in terms of the offseason, simply because Atlanta doesn’t have enough players to fill out a full roster. Still, it is tempting to look at the current crop with a healthy dose of skepticism and that has been a prevailing theme over the past few days.
Still, Matt Moore of CBS Sports takes things a bit further in his offseason NBA Power Rankings. In fact, he places the Hawks as the worst team in the league.
Imagine if you (or me) really thought Dennis Schröder struggled to make the Hawks better last season but then realized he's their best player. Now consider that Miles Plumlee is their third highest-paid player. Given those factors, a case could be made for any of the six preceding teams as worst in the league, but Atlanta's the bet here. The tank is on the way.
From a roster standpoint, this is not a crazy characterization. There are nice young assets with Schröder, Taurean Prince, DeAndre’ Bembry and John Collins but the veteran group is less appealing.
Kent Bazemore is a starter-level player (albeit an overpaid one) and Mike Muscala returns on a bargain deal to provide solid play in the frontcourt. Beyond that, though, things get weird in a hurry and a quick look around the league reveals that Atlanta’s roster, at least as currently constructed for the 2017-2018 season alone, is one of the worst in the NBA.
This kind of assertion is certain to rile up some Hawks fans and with good reason. The presence of Mike Budenholzer should help Atlanta from dropping into the absolute dregs of the league but the worst-case scenario on the floor isn’t pretty and there is a chance this type of projection ends up being right.
What say you?