The Atlanta Hawks originally used this spot to grab future fringe All-Star Jeff Teague, who played a major role in Atlanta’s improbable 60-win season in 2014-15. But who knows if that happens in our alternate timeline because with Teague off the board in this re-draft, the Hawks would have to go to Plan B to improve their middling roster.
For a team that ranked 16th in 3-point field goal percentage in 2008-09, taking Kentucky Wildcats guard Jodie Meeks would be the logical choice. Meeks torched collegiate defenses in his junior year with the Wildcats, averaging 23.7 points with a .463/.406/.902 shooting line.
But as salivating as those numbers were, they came with some caveats. Meeks averaged more turnovers than assists (2.7 turnovers compared to 1.8 assists per game), he feasted on weaker opponents (College Basketball Reference rated his strength of schedule at 4.82) and he was seen as a liability on defense.
All of this added up to conclude that Meeks would struggle as a facilitator and as a shot creator against a higher class of athletes. Most draft pundits felt the same way, which was why most designated Meeks as a second-round pick, which is indeed where he went.
That said, his 3-point stroke remained true in the pros, as Meeks has never shot lower than 31.8 percent from downtown in his career. Even then, his numbers were skewered by a ghastly 28.0 percent 3-point rate in his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks (he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers midway through that season and shot 38.0 percent in 19 games there).
At this time, the Hawks had prime-Joe Johnson and Josh Smith on the roster, so all Meeks would’ve needed to do was stand in the corner and wait for an open 3 following some dribble penetration. Maybe then, Smith would’ve taken far less from distance and attacked the paint more.