With the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks hold the rights to the number one overall pick. After coming into the NBA Lottery with just a three percent chance to get the top overall selection, luck landed on Atlanta’s side and they now find themselves with the most coveted position in the draft. Last year, when the Spurs had the number one pick, there was no question that Victor Wembanyama was going to be the selection. Now, this year seems to be somewhat of an unknown. There are realistically four to six players who can be in consideration for the top pick. With whoever the Hawks do pick, there is a strong opportunity to get the team back on track and into the playoffs quickly.

That leads us to this article – a short history of the number-one overall Atlanta Hawks draft picks. This will be the fourth time that the Hawks have had the liberty of drafting first. Their previous picks have yielded horrible results, as all three picks came before 1976.

With that being said, let’s look back on those previous three first-overall picks in the Atlanta Hawks draft history.

First Overall Picks in the Atlanta Hawks Draft History

1952 | Mark Workman – Power Forward – West Virginia

In the team’s third draft in franchise history, the Milwaukee Hawks selected Mark Workman out of the University of West Virginia. Workman was not the player to kick off the Hawks’ tenure, as after he was drafted, he went on tour with the Harlem Globetrotters. Shortly after starting the 1952-53 season with the Hawks, he was traded to the Philadelphia Warriors for Don Sunderlage. Workman played just five games with the Hawks. While with Milwaukee, Workman totaled just 11 points and six rebounds.

1955 | Dick Ricketts – Power Forward/Center – Duquesne

The Hawks were able to move into the number one spot three years later and elected to take Dick Ricketts, who averaged 17.7 points per game and 12.2 rebounds per game in four seasons at Duquesne. While Ricketts was not the greatest option for the Hawks, he did provide more for the team than Workman. Ricketts began the 1955-56 season by playing 29 games with Saint Louis, before having his contract sold to the Rochester Royals in the middle of the season. The sale came due to the fact that Ricketts was also under contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB. Due to Ricketts pitching for the Rochester Red Wings, he was moved to the Royals.

1975 | David Thompson – Shooting Guard – North Carolina State

Now in Atlanta, the Hawks found themselves with the number one pick again in 1975. Luckily for them, one of the best college basketball players of all time had finished his college career – David Thompson. Unfortunately for Atlanta, Thompson was selected with the number-one in pick in both the NBA and the American Basketball Association. With the ABA gaining traction, Thompson elected to sign with the Denver Nuggets and would not see any court time with the Atlanta Hawks.

So in total, the Atlanta Hawks have held the number one pick three times and have totaled 34 games from three players. Whoever the Hawks draft this year between Zaccharie Risacher, Alex Sarr, Donovan Clingan or Rob Dillingham should be close to guaranteed to play more than 34 games. The Hawks do have a couple of intriguing players to build around with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, so taking a big man may not be the worst idea.

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From Green Bay, Wisconsin. NBA, College Basketball, MLB and NFL Fan/Writer. UW-La Crosse Graduate. Watch Sports, Play Basketball and Travel in Free Time. Love to go Fishing. Go Tar Heels.

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