With The First Pick The Atlanta Hawks Select….

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Atlanta Hawks shocked the basketball world by winning the NBA Draft Lottery.

This is the Hawks’ first time getting the No. 1 pick since 1975, when they ended up drafting David Thompson, a five-time All-Star and NBA Hall of Famer. The Draft Lottery was not established yet, so it is the first time they won it.

The Detroit Pistons, who had the league-worst 14-68 record, could not believe it as they had the best odds at 14% to get the No. 1 pick.

The Washington Wizards were 15-67 and they also had great odds to land the number one pick. They have the No. 2 pick.

In 2023-24, they finished the season 36-46, which resulted in the tenth-highest lottery odds. They owned a 3% chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 13.9% chance at a selection in the top four.

This is very shocking for this franchise. They are never championship contenders but not bad enough to pick high enough to select a superstar. This has finally changed.

The only problem is this year’s draft does not have a consensus top prospect like Victor Wembanyama was last year.

Some of the top prospects for the Hawks to consider are center Alexandre Sarr (France), point guard/shooting guard Stephon Castle (UConn), point guard Nikola Topic (Serbia) and small forward/power forward Ron Holland (G League Ignite).

Holland was a McDonald’s All-American in 2023. He averaged 19.5 points per game in the G League as an 18 year old. He is very skilled and has good athleticism. Holland is 6’8, 206 pounds so he needs to put on more weight. He only shoots 24% from the arc, so that’s frightening.

Sarr is 7’1 and 216 pounds. He has a smaller frame but he is more of an old school center. The 19 year old played in Australia’s NBL last season. He played 27 games and averaged 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

He is raw offensively and needs to develop his skillset. He is a solid defensive player but I don’t think that is enough for a number one draft pick.

Castle is a Georgia native and graduated from Newton High School in Covington, GA.

Obviously, he won a national championship with the Huskies last season. He averaged 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 2.9 apg. He’s 6’6 so he’s a bigger guard. He did not really get to display his skillset because he played in a true team system.

Topic won a gold medal with Serbia at the U18 European Championships. He played on two different teams in the AdmiralBet League (ABA) in 2023-24. He averaged 18.4 ppg in twelve games for Mega MIS. He has a well-rounded game on offense and he can score. He’s 6’6 and he turns 19 in August.

If Atlanta decides to draft another point guard they might have to trade their current star, Trae Young.

The 2024 NBA Draft will be the first ever two-day event, beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, June 26 and concluding with the second round on Thursday, June 27.

It will be at the Barclays Center, which is the home of the Brooklyn Nets.