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Atlanta Hawks projected for notable improvement by oddsmakers

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NBA: Phoenix Suns at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Schlenk and the Atlanta Hawks have been exceptionally busy in recent days. First, the team added talent for the future in selecting Onyeka Okongwu and Skylar Mays in the 2020 NBA Draft. From there, Atlanta invested significant free agent capital to acquire Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn. Finally, the Hawks landed a commitment from Bogdan Bogdanovic and, after a staring contest with the Sacramento Kings, the team’s full roster came together late on Tuesday evening.

Quite obviously, the Hawks project to be improved from their 2019-20 baseline, both due to the additions and internal improvement from young players. However, it is always interesting to take stock of where Las Vegas and offshore oddsmakers stand on the team and, in the hours since the free agent frenzy began to fade, many shops started to post over/under win total projections for 2020-21.

As an important note, the 2020-21 season is scheduled for only 72 games, so “normal” win totals don’t apply. As such, a .500 record would be 36-36 and so on.

Here is a smattering of projections at this (very) early stage:

In terms of consensus, these outlets are projecting the Hawks for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Six teams sit atop most projections in the East, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers in some order. From there, the Indiana Pacers are projected at No. 7 in many places, landing just ahead of the Hawks in terms of consensus.

After that, the Orlando Magic are usually projected as the closest competitor for Atlanta, coming in at No. 9 overall. As a reminder, the 2020-21 season will also feature a play-in tournament for playoff purposes but, for now, it is now accurate to refer to the Hawks as a “projected playoff team” for the first time in a long while.

There is palpable excitement around Trae Young and the Hawks, as this is a deep, talented roster with upside and intrigue on both ends. The 2020-21 season is rapidly approaching and, if nothing else, it seems as if the “wise guys” like Atlanta’s roster a lot more than they did a few weeks ago, and they still might be too low on the Hawks.

Stay tuned.