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Thursday the Atlanta Hawks have three picks in the first round of the NBA Draft – number 8, 10 and 17. They also have three second-round picks. Now, I know the Hawks are way down on the popularity list in this state, but I again urge you to pay attention to what happens for this team Thursday night. They have a core of young talent already, with Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter. Now, they have a chance to add one or more multiple pieces to this puzzle. Several years ago, when the Hawks won 60 games, no one around here seemed to care. They were the Hawks, and we know they could never get past Lebron James and the Cavaliers. That team did have a ceiling that was reached, and that’s why the new ownership decided to tear it down and start over. Along the way, general manager Travis Schlenk has accumulated draft picks and cap space and a lot of leverage. This franchise is in the best shape it’s been in for many years, and Schlenk deserves credit. If all goes well for the Hawks Thursday night, people around the country will start talking about what the Hawks are building. It is my hope that sports fans in their own state will also take notice. I believe that most basketball fans in this state, this area, are just NBA fans or fans of another team – likely a team that has the stars, like the Lakers or Celtics or Warriors – more than a fan of the Hawks. As a longtime Hawks fan, I hope others will jump on the bandwagon once they see what this team is building. The Hawks seem likely to come away from Thursday’s draft with a wing – a shooting guard or a small forward. De’Andre Hunter from Virginia and Cam Reddish from Duke are my favorites, and I would have no problem with Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver being the pick, either. Add one of those players to the existing core and the Hawks will have one of the best groups of young players in the NBA. And they may even be a team you would want to go to Atlanta and see in person. It’s been a long time since they’ve been a team like that, but if all goes well Thursday night, you might just be tempted. So, pay attention to the Hawks. They’ve put the organization in position to deserve our attention.