Top 50 Atlanta Hawks

You would think that there would be a more rich history for the Atlanta Hawks, but other than a championship in a previous city (St, Louis), the post season success for the Hawks has not been an illustrious one, though it has been a long one.

Formed in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the National Basketball League, the Hawks would join the NBA in 1949 as part of the two leagues merger.  The team would relocate to Milwaukee in 1951, dropping the “Black” from the name and simply became the “Hawks”.  The stay in Milwaukee would only pan out for four years as the team would again relocate, this time to St. Louis, which is where they would have their greatest success. 

Led by Bob Pettit, The St. Louis Hawks would go to the NBA Finals (1957, 1958, 1960 & 1961) and would win one of those (’58).  To date, this is the only championship that the Hawks have won, and by far the best period of the organization’s existence.

With an inability to secure a decent arena, the Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1965, which has been their home since.  They have also not been to the NBA Finals since their move to the Peach State. 

They have had some excellent players in Atlanta (Dominique Wilkins of course) but they currently hold the second longest stretch (behind the Sacramento Kings) for not winning a championship.

This list is up to the end of the 2020/21 season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
An All Star in 1998, Steve Smith was highly regarded for his excellent shooting skill, especially from behind the arc.  Smith would post two consecutive seasons with Atlanta where he averaged 20.1 Points per Game.  For a large part of his Atlanta tenure, Smith was regarded as the primary option for the team, and while he could not lead Atlanta deep into the playoffs, he always brought them there. 
Jeff Teague was a member of the Atlanta Hawks for the first seven years of his NBA career and in the 2014-15 season he would be named to his first All Star Game.  Teague was drafted in the middle of the 2009 First Round draft from Wake Forest and the crafty Point Guard would sport over 14 Points per Game four times.
While “Pistol” Pete Maravich is best known for what he did in the State of Louisiana both with the New Orleans Jazz and LSU, but it should be remembered that the first four seasons he spent professionally was with the Atlanta Hawks. 
Jason Terry would later win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2009) and a Championship with the Dallas Mavericks, but it was with the Atlanta Hawks where he first cut his teeth in professional basketball.  Terry was drafted 10th overall in 1999 and quickly became a feared shooter in the league.  While he would receive more accolades in Dallas, Terry’s best scoring season was with Atlanta (19.7 PPG) and aside from his rookie season,…
“Jumping” Joe Caldwell would spend the majority of his professional career with the Hawks, both in St. Louis and in Atlanta.  Always a good scorer, Caldwell had a solid defensive presence and was named to two All Star Games following the team’s relocation to Atlanta, along with a Second Team Defensive Selection.  Caldwell would leave Atlanta for the ABA after posting a 21.2 PPG season for the Hawks.
There is no doubt that Moses Malone is a legend in the world of basketball, but when you think of Malone it is not the Atlanta Hawks that you think of.  While that is not necessarily the wrong thought process, Malone did have three decent seasons in Atlanta, the first of which was an All Star one.  Two of his three years in Atlanta were double double campaigns, both of which had a PER over…
Mel Hutchins was only with the Hawks for two seasons, but those first two campaigns in the National Basketball Association with the Milwaukee Hawks were incredible.
John Collins showed huge progress at Wake Forest, so much so, that he earned a First Round Pick (19th Overall) in 2017 by Atlanta. The Power Forward was a Second Team All-Rookie Selection, starting 26 of his 74 Games, and averaging 10.5 Points per Game.  He shot that number as a sophomore to 19.5 Points, and was now in the starting five.  Collins has continued his upward trajectory, and has posted a PER over 20 over his last…
At the 2018 Draft, the biggest moment was when the Dallas Mavericks traded Trae Young for Luka Doncic to Atlanta, players who both teams just drafted, and were both hopeful that they both landed the man who would take them to the promised land.  They both might be right. Young was an immediate star, earning First Team All-Rookie honors with a 19.1 PPG and 8.1 APG.  There was no sophomore slump for the Point Guard, who went…
Shareef Abdur-Rahim was a better player than he really got credit for, but when you always play for bad teams, it is easy to forget you.  Abdur-Rahim actually holds the distinction of paying the most games in his career (Vancouver, Atlanta, Portland and Sacramento) before finally participating in the playoffs. 
Spending the first third of his fifteen year NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks, Stacey Augmon’s five years in the “ATL” was by the far his best.  Augmon was the ninth overall Draft Pick in 1991 and the man they dubbed “The Plastic Man” would have five consecutive seasons where he eclipsed 12 points per Game.
A member of the Atlanta Hawks for six and half seasons, Steve Hawes would averaged an even 10 Points per Game during his tenure in the ATL.  Hawes may not have put up the blocking numbers that you want to see from a big man, but he did have efficient shooting and rebounding ability, which did not gain him the respect he probably should have received.
While the highlight of Cliff Levingston arguably was the two championships he would win late in his career with the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls, there is no question that the prime of his career was the six seasons he spent in Atlanta. 
A lot of people were concerned when the Atlanta Hawks drafted 2nd overall in 2005 as though he was a player seen with high potential, he was only the sixth man with the NCAA Champion, North Carolina Tar Heels.  As it would turn out, Williams would have a good career in the NBA (not 2nd Pick overall worthy) and was with the Hawks for seven years predominantly starting at Small Forward.  With the exception of…
A member of the Atlanta Hawks for 332 Games, Kyle Korver was a bit of a surprising All Star choice in 2015, but he was so respected for his long range shooting for years that it was not that strange of a selection.  The Shooting Guard would lead the NBA in Three Point Fielding Percentage twice as a Hawk (and once in the season he was traded to Cleveland) and he was also a two…
Did Jon Koncak live up to what you want from a 5th overall pick?  He didn’t but you can’t leave off a player with 717 career games for a franchise, half of them as a starting Center.  The man called “Jon Contract” because he did receive a hefty contract for a player who was not a full time starter, did however put up a solid defensive presence.  Still, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear some…
By the time Slater Martin arrived in Milwaukee he had already won four Championships with the Minneapolis Lakers and had gone to four All Star Games.  Martin brought that winning pedigree to the Hawks and was their starting Point Guard when they won what is to date their only NBA Championship.  He would also earn three Second Team All Star Martin and go to three more All Star Games.  While Slater may seem ranked very…
Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame mostly for what he did with the New York Knicks, Richie Guerin was with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks for six seasons, five of which where he served as Player/Coach.  Guerin was not the player he was when he was a Knick, but he was there to help in a dual role.  Guerin would still average 13.0 Points per Game.  Interestingly enough, he had been drafted by the…
Josh Childress spent his first four seasons of professional basketball with the Atlanta Hawks, used often as the team’s sixth man, a role in which he performed very well at.  Despite being used predominantly off of the bench, Childress would still average over 30 Minutes per Game as a Hawk and never had a season where he had less than Points per Game. Childress would shock Atlanta and really the entire NBA when he left…
At 5’ 7” Spud Webb was not supposed to make the NBA, let alone make a significant mark in it.  Webb was picked off of waivers after being drafted in the 4th Round (by Detroit) out of the North Carolina State Wolfpack and with his size and energy was an instant favorite amongst the Hawks fans.  He was mostly used off of the bench until his final year in Atlanta (in his first run) when…