B.S. Report: The Hawks re-build starts with draft
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Atlanta Hawks have the 19th pick in Thursday’s first round of the NBA Draft. It’s not a pick that could transform the franchise, but it should be a good player.
The Hawks have a new general manager, Travis Schlenk, and he has a lot of work to do in his first few weeks on the job. Half of the Hawks’ roster could leave through free agency. The biggest free agent is Paul Millsap, who has opted out of his contract. Millsap is 32 years old, so if the Hawks were to give him a long-term, max contract he would be in his mid-30s. That’s a dangerous situation for the Hawks. There’s no doubt that Millsap has been their best player the last few years, but there’s no way the Hawks should sign him for the next few years. A player who is getting into his mid-30s will just not give a team a good return on investment.
The Hawks need to make a difficult decision and move on. Yes, they need to start over. Look, most of you watching this are unfortunately not even interested in what I’m saying. The Hawks do not have the attention of sports fans in this state. They haven’t for a while now. It’s a shame really, since people in Georgia love the NBA, but just not the Hawks. Think about this. In the NBA Finals’ TV ratings, Atlanta was in the top five for several of the games. Now, that shows you the melting pot that is Atlanta, but it also shows you that at least in Atlanta, the NBA is something that matters.
The Hawks do not, however. That’s a shame. They should matter. You should be interested in what I’m saying about the Hawks. It’s a great game to go watch. The Hawks do a great job of making it a great experience. But as long-time Braves announcer Ernie Johnson once said, the best promotion in the world is winning. And the Hawks just haven’t done enough of that through the years, or for that matter, through the decades.
Think about this: Dominique Wilkins has not played for the Hawks in 25 years. They’ve had some good teams since then, even a great team a few years ago when they won 60 games. But the Hawks seem to be always stuck in the middle. That’s why they need to let Millsap walk away and start over. That’s why they need to get a couple of good players on Thursday night and hope they can develop those players into solid NBA contributors. That’s what they have to do to make you care about what I’m saying right now. The Hawks don’t have your attention. How many of you watching this have been to a Hawks game? Probably not many. That’s a shame.
If you’re a basketball fan, you should want to go watch the Hawks. But they must give you a reason, and that’s what they need to do this offseason by starting over. As we’ve seen with the Braves, it’s not an easy process. But it’s something the Hawks must do – and it all starts Thursday with the NBA Draft.