Wednesday , Jun , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Atlanta Hawks 2007 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The Atlanta Hawks finished 30-52 in 2006-07, and did not
qualify for the playoffs for the eighth straight year. They have two lottery
picks and should be able to help their cause.

All-Star Joe Johnson led the Hawks in scoring (25.0 ppg) this past season,
while Josh Smith grabbed a team-high 8.6 rebounds and Johnson and Speedy
Claxton both handed out a club-best 4.4 assists per game.

The 6-7 Johnson, who missed 25 games because of injuries, is the key for
Atlanta. The offense runs through him and he is the Hawks’ go-to player.

Atlanta does have some talented players who are still developing. Forward
Marvin Williams averaged 13.1 points and 5.3 boards in his second season in
the league, while rookie Shelden Williams continued to improve as the season
progressed. Swingman Josh Childress posted 13.0 points per contest and shot
50.4 percent from the field, including 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.

With two high picks (3, 11), the Hawks will be able to add to their already
youthful roster. Yi Jianlian of China is worth the gamble at No. 3. He has a
decent outside game and will get help on the boards from Smith, Shelden and
Marvin Williams. If Atlanta decides to play it safe, Florida’s Al Horford and
Brandan Wright of North Carolina are the players the Hawks will be looking at.

The 11th pick should also get Atlanta some immediate help. This year’s draft
should go a long way in helping the Hawks get closer to making it back to the

Key Player(s): Josh Childress (Guard), Speedy Claxton (Guard), Joe Johnson
(Guard), Tyronn Lue (Guard), Zaza Pachulia (Center), Josh Smith (Forward),
Salim Stoudamire (Guard), Marvin Williams (Forward), Shelden Williams

Team Needs: Center and a slashing small forward who can knock down the outside

Draft picks: 1st round (3rd overall), 1st round (11th overall).