Skyhawks Season Preview
- By Joe Weber, Day 1, 2023
Skyhawks Season Preview - Jimmy Enzil (Skyhawks beat writer)
After a horrid season last year where nothing could get moving then the team almost looking like they were just tanking the last month of the season, the Hawks open this season with a new roster and a new hope. This off season saw the hawks and GM w7 trade two top draft picks for Wingfield, then grabbing potential stud Ari Ajayi late in the draft. Also a draft day deal they gave up next years first pick for Cameron Nix. They were looking like serious players with the lineup till the Blizzards splashed expansion cash at wallace giving him an absurd max offer, so they shipped him to the bliz for SG/SF Lamar claxton in a rent a player type deal which was a clear downgrade in my opinion. That's a lot to digest so here is a quick recap.
Here is my projected starting lineup and a few words as well as some info on some other players
C - Mark Hunter - The 22 year old Stud C is poised to build on his solid season last year where he had nearly 23ppg. The addition of wingfield should ease his pressure of being the main option and more importantly give him a lot of easy buckets rather than trying to score while double teamed in the post.
PF - Trey Astbury - The 21 year old is ready for his break out season. After sitting behind Wright for three seasons the door is wide open for him to earn his starting spot for the 'Hawks for years to come. Being in a contract year there will be some pressure.
SF - Lamar Claxton - Lamar was the man for the blizzards but the 'Hawks just hope he can hold his own and not be a gaping hole. Not exactly known for his defense but he did score 24ppg the last two seasons on the miserable bliz.. all while shooting a very solid 46%. The hawk's will love the extra scoring but can he hold his own at the wing?
SG - Cameron Nix - The sharpshooter SG joins the hawks after a weird season with the stars where they decided he was a bad fit. Probably a good fit on a 'Hawks team that is known for tossing up a lot of 3's. Guy can shoot.
PG - Rubin Wingfield - The former MVP heads to the 'Hawks to try to build on his legacy. Only 30 years old he should have a few good years left in the tank to help the young and talented 'Hawks team flourish and grow.
Mark Phillips + Deanthony Hunter both enter their second season as very solid looking prospects. Both will get lots of playing time and maybe chances to earn starting spots. Phillips started most of the season last year and had a great second half of the season, but is out a couple weeks with a pinched nerve.
Ari Ajayi - GM w7 known around the league as one of the best drafting GM's in the history of the league might have done it again here with this guy at #20. Many GM's later saying that they had him as a top 8 player. No one really knows why he was rated so low, but his workouts were stellar and many see a potential star here.
Griffin Walls - The flexible big man has a chance to earn starter time but has to show something more than last season where he only shot 39% and 30% from downtown.
Quan Levoir - The 'hawks added the vet as a locker room vet, and a solid backup to play both C and PF.
I love that GM w7 was able to snag that rockets first pick next year. We could be sitting on a huge gold nugget there. I predict it to be a top 5 pick.
Prediction - I think the 'hawks took a huge step forward. How far? I don't know. I see them a couple pieces away from the tippy top but I see no reason they can't compete this season. Probably in the 5th seed all the way down to 9th in the west is my guess. @skyhawkspulse