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 2017/18 season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
The answer to the trivia question (who was the first overall draft pick in the 1950’s), Chuck Share would be traded from Fort Wayne to the Milwaukee Hawks, which would later be moved to St. Louis.  Share, a rough player who was adept in collecting Personal Fouls would have three seasons where he scored 15 Points per Game, but most notably was the captain for the Hawks Championship win in 1958.
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,…
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.
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. 
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. 
“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. 
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 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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
A member of the Atlanta Hawks for eight seasons, Georgian born (the country, not the state), Zaza Pachulia would enjoy the best stints of his career in Atlanta.  The Center would enjoy two seasons scoring over 10 Points per Season, even though he was used mostly off of the bench.
The starting Power Forward for two seasons for Atlanta, Grant Long was known for his good defensive skills but still produced solid offense with two seasons over 11 Points per Game.  Long would come back for a second run albeit in a reserve role but still had a respectable 9.8 PPG in his one season return.
Starting a little over 40 percent of his games in Atlanta, Alan Henderson would have four seasons where he eclipsed over 10 Points per Game.  Henderson may not have been a superstar, but he almost played 500 Games for the Hawks, and was highly regarded in the locker room.  Had Henderson not played in an era with a glut of very good Power Forwards (his VORP is relatively low) he would probably be ranked higher.
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.