The five biggest draft busts in Hawks franchise history

Atlanta Hawks fans are upset with the teams choices during the NBA Draft. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

30 teams at the NBA draft with one goal: find a player that will benefit them most in the future. Sometimes, a team hits a homerun and drafts a once-on-a-generation talent; sometimes, they miss out. 

The Atlanta Hawks hold the sixth pick in the Oct. 16 draft. With the date around the corner, here are a few picks they probably wish they could have gotten back.

5. DeMarr Johnson Pick, Sixth Overall Selection, 2000 

In his lone season at Cincinnati, he averaged 12.6 points and 3.8 assists, shooting over 37% from three-point range. Atlanta was intrigued. However, Johnson immediately floundered and lasted three seasons in Atlanta. 

Drafted over the likes of Jamal Crawford and Hedo Turkoglu, Atlanta hoped Johnson would provide a spark and be a valuable playoff-time piece. But, he never averaged more than nine points a game for a season. You can guess if he above nine points a game in a season would not be the reason for that.

4. Acie Law, Eleventh Overall Selection, 2007

Drafted out of Texas A&M, Law had a breakout junior year with the Aggies, raising his stock. Paired with third-overall pick Al Horford, the Hawks thought they drafted a solid SEC duo out of Florida.

But, Law never found his footing in the league. His career-best 4.3 points per game came in the 2009-10 season when he played for four different teams. The following year would be his last in the NBA.

3. Jon Koncack, Fifth Overall Selection, 1985

In a draft that featured ten future All-Stars, the team looked poised to draft a future Hall-of-Famer in the class but passed on Chris Mullin, Karl Malone and Joe Dumars for Koncack.  

Stan Kasten, the Hawks’ Atlanta’s general manager, knew the team needed size following their harsh 34-48 finish and selected Koncack out of SMU. He was labeled a bust immediately and remains a big ‘what-if’ for the franchise’s history.

2. Marvin Williams, Second Overall Selection, 2005 

Unlike the others on this list, Williams is still in the NBA today, providing the Milwaukee Bucks with a veteran presence. 

Selected between future Hall-of-Famers Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, Williams struggled to find a consistent home in the NBA. Although he has made great memories, including 2008, including he helped Atlanta end a playoff drought.

“People forget how instrumental [Williams] was for that team,” Hawks play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun said. “He came up big in situations and helped the Hawks push the Celtics to seven games [in the first round of the 2008 NBA playoffs].”

1. Shelden Williams, Fifth Overall Selection, 2006  

While at Duke, Williams earned the nickname “the Landlord” for his electric playstyle. He floundered in the NBA. Unlike Marvin Williams, Shelden Williams provided no impact to the Hawks whatsoever and didn’t last two seasons in Atlanta.

As a rookie, Williams averaged just 10 points and was a non-impact player on defense. His poor performance led to the Hawks to trading him to the Sacramento Kings. By year five, he was out of the league after seven different teams.