Brook Lopez’s injury is terrible news and I would never cheer for any type of injury, but when injuries occur there are effects all around the NBA. For the Brooklyn Nets, the news comes at a bad time. The Nets are struggling this year to win games, and to top it all off Brooklyn just lost their starting center who leads the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game. Currently, the Nets hold the No.11 seed with a disappointing record of 9-17 this season and look like a team on the verge of tanking. There’s only one problem, though; Brooklyn cannot tank. Wait, what? Why? The Nets cannot continue to lose or “tank” because the Atlanta Hawks have the right to swap draft picks with Brooklyn in this year’s NBA Draft.
When the Hawks traded Joe Johnson to the Nets a couple of seasons ago, GM Danny Ferry added in a few minor requirements to get the deal done. At first, many questioned the trade for the Hawks, but now there is no questioning who got the better end of the deal. Atlanta easily comes out on top because of the genius move by Ferry to include the option to swap draft picks in future drafts. If the debacle in Brooklyn continues, the Hawks now have a chance to end up with a lottery pick in next year’s draft. Anyone that watches college basketball knows exactly what this means. This means Atlanta could possibly end up drafting one of the coveted freshmen in college right now. Atlanta is already a good team this season, but the addition of one of these freshmen could take the Hawks to new heights.
The plan Ferry has put into place seems to be working so far in his short time with Atlanta. This season, the Hawks already control the No.3 seed in the East and look like a team on the upswing. In the first year under new coach Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta leads the league in assists per game which is remarkable. The implementation of his offense has already produced fantastic results for the Hawks this season as Atlanta looks like a team poised for the playoffs under his leadership. However, could you imagine adding in a player such as Andrew Wiggins? Atlanta would have the chance to compete for championships instead of just making the playoffs every year. Wiggins is a once in a lifetime type of player who would fill the seats at Philips Arena, and if you added him to the mix of Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford, this Hawks team could be a powerhouse for many years to come.