Thoughts on Balls

I have decided to do a series of blogs that look back at the draft choices from each NBA team over a 5 year period from 2005-2009

I will list the starting 5 for that team in 2005 and the starters now.  Then, I will show their draft picks from the last 5 years... and what picks they COULD have had.  This is obviously unscientific and has relatively no merit, since hindsight is alwasy 20/20 and there are no salary cap restrictions or "talent projections" to deal with.

The Hawks had a crazy promising young and talented roster in 2005.  Their starters:

Royal Ivey

Joe Johnson

Josh Smith

Zaza Pachulia

Al Harrington


Two of these 5 players are still mainstays in the organization and are arguably "all stars" to many, even outside Atlanta.  In 2005, with these starters the Hawks organization had the 2nd pick in the draft.  They chose Marvin Williams.  Using the wonderful hindsight skills, we change that 2nd pick and select Chris Paul (he was the 3rd pick that year).

In 2006, the Hawks had the 5th pick overall.  They chose Shelden Williams.  Let's change that pick to Paul Millsap (he went 47th, to Utah).  Brandon Roy and Rajon Rondo were available at this time... but we selected Paul already.  We don't need Rondo and we know that Roy has knee damage now.

We now have a roster that could have included:  Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Chris Paul, Paul Millsap and probably Zaza Pachulia.  In 2007 Atlanta had the 3rd pick and selected Al Horford.  We're not touching that one.  Sub in Horford for Zaza and you have an amazing roster.  We probably wouldn't even want to draft anyone else and instead trade those picks for great bench depth and deep playoff runs for years to come.  As a matter of fact, Atlanta did that in reality, giving their 15th pick to the Suns.

In 2009 the Hawks picked 19th and selected Jeff Teague.  It's obviously too early to judge this pick accurately, but we are still going to switch it up.  We would instead pick Omri Casspi, who went 23rd in the draft to Sacramento.

If all the stars alligned, that would leave us a 2010 roster with:

PG: Chris Paul

SG: Joe Johnson

SF: Josh Smith

PF: Paul Millsap

C: Al Horford

6th man: Omri Casspi

That's a pretty imposing lineup.  Getting a strong bench after Casspi could ensure deep playoff runs for years to come.  They've already done that in Atlanta in real life, so a team with even better players would have been amazing.

Their current lineup:

Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams, Johnson, Horford & Smith.

I'd swap out Paul & Millsap for Bibby & Williams any day.  How about you guys?

December 15, 2010  08:07 AM ET

Ouch for the Hawks.

Nice blog.

December 15, 2010  12:13 PM ET

They could have picked Deron Williams or CP in 2005 instead of Marvin.

December 15, 2010  01:46 PM ET

They could have picked Deron Williams or CP in 2005 instead of Marvin.

Well if they were REALLY smart, they would have let Joe Johnson walk and gotten a great 3 point shooter to get the kickouts from Horford and Millsap. Iso-Joe only works so often and with a solid player at every spot, they don't need his selfishness.


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