Four Hawks make SB Nation’s “Top 100 of 2017”
The SB Nation NBA crew dipped into their crystal ball earlier in the week and came up with a list of the “Top 100 Players of 2017.” The Atlanta Hawks had four players that found their way onto the list: Paul Millsap (91), Jeff Teague (76), Dennis Schröder (74) and Al Horford (37).
Horford, not surprisingly, was the highest ranked Hawk on the list. The two-time All-Star landed at 37 between Roy Hibbert at 36 and Bradley Beal at 38. In 2017, Horford will be 31, but, as Conrad Kaczmarek stated, “Al Horford is quite exceptional at basketball. I think he’s probably the most underrated player in the NBA right now, and it seems like he has the type of game that will age well. He’s a very smart player who doesn’t really have many glaring holes. I see no reason why he can’t be very productive well into his 30s.”
Horford’s status as an underrated player was echoed by the rest of the SB Nation group, and Tom Ziller went as far as to say, “I want to see Horford in top 5 of MVP voting one of these years. So good.” 37 seems like a more than fair placement for Al, and most of us here in Atlanta will agree that Horford deserves more praise and recognition than he gets.
The SB Nation guys are clearly very high on the Hawks’ point guard situation, as they had Teague and Schröder both solidly on the list at 76 and 74 respectively. Teague, who will be 29 in 2017, made the list at 76. The concern from Paul Flannery on Teague was a need to become a more consistent player and continue improving his jumper. “Good player, gets better every year and now has some long-term security. I’d like to see Playoff Teague Mode engaged on a regular basis, but he’s at the point where he should be able to figure all that out. I wouldn’t mind a better jumper though.”
Schröder, who garnished tons of praise at Las Vegas Summer League, jumped above Teague in the rankings due to his court-vision and great potential. They have a lot of faith in Schröder’s ability to adapt to the NBA game, and expect him to make a significant impact by 2017, when he’ll still be just 23. The concern for Dennis and Jeff is that they will be splitting time together in the same backcourt, but having two Top 100 players at the same position is an issue that any team would be happy to have to deal with.
Millsap rounds out the Hawks’ inclusion in the Top 100 at 91. Millsap will be 32 by 2017, which Mike Prada pointed out was a concern of his, but Kaczmarek thought that he, like Horford, has a game that will age well and that he can still be productive as both a scorer and rebounder into his 30s. It was also pointed out by a few different writers that if Millsap can become consistent three-point threat that his value in the future could continue to increase.
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