NBA

Every NBA Franchise’s Top 3 Players of the 21st Century

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Atlanta Hawks

10. Jamal Crawford

9. Zaza Pachulia

8. Shareef Abdur-Rahim

7. Kyle Korver

6. Jason Terry

5. Jeff Teague

4. Paul Millsap

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3. Josh Smith

Stats w/ the Hawks

15.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 3.4 Stocks, 46.5 FG%

When Josh Smith departed from Atlanta after nine years, it was a sad day for Hawks fans. He often generated many SC Top 10 highlights, most of which consisted of left-handed dunks and rim-protecting blocks. His 15.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 3.2 APG with Atlanta made him a valuable asset on a team that made the playoffs year after year. There was a reason the Pistons paid this dude so much money – but I get it Detroit – he was fucking awful with you guys. It’s actually somewhat difficult to imagine nowadays, isn’t it? Josh Smith was one of the top power forwards in the NBA for about 3 or 4 years straight. Craziness.

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2. Al Horford

Stats w/ the Hawks

14.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.0 Stocks, 53.7 FG%

Al Horford has been, and continues to be, one of the league’s most underrated and undervalued players. As part of an Atlanta Hawks team often branded as ‘star-less’, this does the man out of Florida by way of the Dominican Republic a great disservice. Although his numbers are not as gaudy or noteworthy as many of the other players on this list, his two-way effectiveness and general versatility make him one of the most valuable players around – and it was the recognition of this that saw the 29-year old pick up his 3rd All-Star appearance in 2014-2015.

On offense, the former 3rd overall pick back in the 2007 NBA Draft is an intelligent player who can hurt the opposition in a number of ways. A lights-out mid-range jump shooter who is also deceptively good in the post, Horford’s scoring is an often overlooked aspect to his game. He is one of the better Big-Man passers, and he is a strong rebounder despite not being a natural Center, even averaging a double-double in 2012-2013, and over nine rebounds per game for his career. Defensively, he is an effective man-to-man defender who can also block shots, and has a high basketball IQ. He will probably end up number one on this list in a few years, you count pretty much count on it.

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1. Joe Johnson

Stats w/ the Hawks

20.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.2 Stocks, 44.9 FG%

Before he was the most overrated player in the NBA, Joe Johnson had been the face of the Atlanta Hawks franchise for 7 very successful seasons, teaming with Josh Smith and Al Horford to create a dynamic and balanced group to contend in the Eastern Conference year after year. Unfortunately, the team had seen early exit after early exit from the playoffs – but making it to the playoffs consistently as the best player on the team means something in this league. One of the more underrated, unknown perennial All-Stars of his time – Joe Jesus was the definition of consistent for the Atlanta Hawks during the mid-2000’s. Making 6 straight All-Stars, 5 consecutive seasons of at least 20 PPG, over 10,000 franchise points, and one of the most clutch shooters of the last decade and a half – Joe Johnson surely made his impact as a Hawk.