The Atlanta Hawks had NBA legends who never played a game.
The Hawks have a proud history dating back to 1946. Since its founding, the team has played in five cities and has seen players of all time dress in red and yellow (or blue and green). But, unfortunately, some great players have never donned a Hawks jersey for a single game. So here are the best players the team has acquired but never got to play in a game.
The third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft wasn’t always a sure thing. Before Gasol teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win two titles in Los Angeles, he was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim on draft night.
After a season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Carmelo Anthony and a future first-round pick were traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Dennis Schroeder. Five days after the deal fell, Anthony agreed to a buyout deal with the Hawks before joining the Houston Rockets. The organization was kind enough to send him a jersey for his stay in Atlanta.
The debates between Luka Doncic and Trae Young will never end. However, sometimes both teams win the trade, and that’s what happened in the 2018 NBA Draft. Still, it’s fun to imagine what could have been for both players if they didn’t. did not meet in Dallas and Atlanta, respectively.
One of the most decorated NBA players of all time was almost a Hawk. In 1956, the St. Louis Hawks traded second-draft pick to the Boston Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley. While both Hagan and Macauley are Hall of Fame members, the Celtics have certainly won this trade.
Russell was not only one of the greatest centers of all time, but he was also a civil rights leader throughout his adult life. Russell and the Hawks’ organization would have been a perfect match.
Honorable mention: Rasheed Wallace
One of the most intimidating forwards of all time, Rasheed Wallace, has adapted for the Hawks for a game. In February 2004, the Hawks were in the middle of a rebuild and Wallace got an early pit stop in Atlanta. In 42 minutes against the Nets, Wallace scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds plus five blocks before being traded to the Detroit Pistons.
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