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Atlanta Hawks: Rebuild or Reload? - OTBN 30-In-30

In this edition of our NBA off-season previews, we look at the uncertain future of a once-promising team out East.

It's been an interesting offseason so far for the Atlanta Hawks as the NBA gods blessed them by winning the NBA lottery with just a 3% chance of winning the lottery. Not so long ago the Hawks were in the Eastern Conference finals and now it seems like they're in the dreaded "middle" where you do not want to be in the NBA.

With the 1st pick in the 2024 NBA draft the Hawks selected French forward Zaccharie Risacher who possesses amazing skills on the wing but has a lot of rawness to his game. He was my 5th-rated prospect in this class does some really good things as an off-ball player on the wing and has shown some two-way flashes. He needs to work on his consistency from deep and self-creation. He's definitely a bit of a project pick but the upside screams future All-Star

The Young/Murray backcourt duo simply didn't work and Atlanta finally pulled the plug and dealt Murray to the Pelicans for Dyson Daniels, E.J Lidell, Larry Nance Jr, and two 1st Rd picks. They also traded 2022 1st Rdreplenish pick AJ Griffin who was in the dog house most of last year for a 2nd Rd pick. So Atlanta was able to replenish some of the draft picks they lost when they traded for Dejounte Murray a few years back.

Last year's 1st RD pick Kobe Bufkin only played in 17 games this past season and only averaged 11 MPG while shooting just 37 from the field. He's expected to take a big leap with Murray no longer in his way and could provide some offensive punch off the bench. The Hawks also have a logjam at the center spot, especially after picking up Larry Nance. Clint is entering the last year of his deal (22 Million dollars) and Onyeka is entering year 1 of his new extension he signed (14 Million dollars) so do you flip Clint who's been in trade rumors it seems like forever?

Is Jalen Johnson ready for back-to-back breakout seasons? He made a massive leap averaging 16 PPG 8.7 RPG while shooting 51% from the field. He was really impressive last year and is a piece Atlanta believes they can build with for years to come. Saddiq Bey who they traded for from Detroit struggled from 3p before tearing his knee in March and will be out for most of this season. De'Andre Hunter shot the ball well but many believe they expected more from him since he signed his 4-year max in 2022.

O yeah you thought I forgot about Ice Trae? He's still one of the premier points in the NBA coming off a 25 and 10 season and was all over the trade rumor circuit. With Murray gone will he get back to leading the Hawks to the ECF? Will he be a Hawk by the trade deadline? So many questions that Atlanta still has to answer. Which way will they go? We shall see.

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