2018 Atlanta Hawks Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
Fans of the Atlanta Hawks will be hoping that the coaching change is positive, that the rebuild is handled properly, and that the suffering doesn't continue much longer. But, above all, they will be hoping that Luka Doncic isn't very good at basketball. Instead of taking Doncic with the third overall pick in the draft, the Hawks traded his draft rights for Trae Young and Dallas' first rounder next year. Doncic is favored to be Rookie of the Year, so if he were to win that and blossom into a superstar it's the kind of deal that could haunt a team forever - Atlanta's Sam Bowie moment. But it doesn't have to work out that way. Doncic could struggle coming to the U.S., Young could become a superstar himself, and the first next year could produce another star. But it is unquestionably a risk, and that's why there is going to be a run on ulcer medication amongst Hawks fans this year.
2018 Atlanta Hawks Additions and Departures
If you were going to hire a coach to replace MIke Budenholzer and try to navigate through perhaps the biggest rebuild currently underway in the league - and by that I mean that they are clearly and obviously tanking - you could do far worse than Lloyd Pierce. The longtime assistant has most recently been with the Sixers since 2013, so he has lived through the horrors of The Process, seen how dark things can get, and learned how to come out of the other side. He stands virtually no chance of winning this year, or for the next couple of years barring a miracle, but he can see the big picture better than most. Now, whether he is able to stick around long enough to rebuild like Philly has is another story entirely. But on paper, at least, the move makes sense.
To prove that they are not focused on the short term, the team ditched Dennis Schroder and his contract this summer, trading him to Oklahoma City as part of a deal that saw the Hawks take Carmelo Anthony and then waive him. Schroder was the best player on the team last year, but he wasn't cheap, and he didn't fit long term.
Trae Young is a very exciting young player - a guy who can score in bulk.
But is he going to be able to translate his game to the NBA? And how is he
going to respond to the inevitable and relentless physical attacks he gets
from opposing teams seeking to knock him off his game? The Hawks are poised
to build around him. I'm not a fan of the team, but if I were that would
terrify me. He's far from a sure thing, which makes this whole rebuild the
same. GM Travis Schlenk was with the Warriors when they drafted Steph
Curry, so the comparisons have been made a lot and will continue to be. I
am far from convinced that Young can live up to that pressure.
Young is just one of three first-rounders added to the team this year. They also added Kevin Huerter from Maryland with the 19th pick and Omari Spellman from champion Villanova with the 30th. LIke Young, both have nice upside, but neither is anywhere close to a finished product.
You have to at least pretend to be serious about playing winning basketball. In that pursuit, the team has added Jeremy Lin to the roster. He can take pressure off Young and is a strong playmaker. They also added Vince Carter, who will add an obvious veteran presence - and will be able to tell the rookies what travelling to road games was like before the airplane had been invented.
2018 Atlanta Hawks Futures Odds and Trends
NBA title odds ( from Bovada ) : +40000
Eastern Conference title odds : +10000
Trae Young ROY Odds: +1100
Season win total: 23.5
The Hawks were 40-39-3 ATS last season, which meant that they were not a particularly fun team to bet on whether you bet on or against them. They went "under" the total 44 times and "over" 37, so there were some long-term profits to be found there.
2018 Atlanta Hawks Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
It's hard to be optimistic about this team at all, but then that's the point when you are tanking. John Collins was decent last year, and the three rookies could be decent this year, too. But Coach Pierce is a defensive guy, and it takes time to play defense well. And experience - which they have little of. I look for a very, very long season in Atlanta and would take the under on the win total. It will also be interesting to watch Kent Bazemore this year. He is the last of the guys that was on this team when it was last good. He is a talented and impactful guy, but he is expensive. He could help a contender much more than he can help this team, so perhaps he will be moved at some point to aid the rebuild - and the tanking.
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