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The Hawks have a proud history that dates back to 1946. Since its founding, the team has played in five cities and has seen some all-time players suit up in red and yellow (or blue and green). But, unfortunately, some great players never donned a Hawks jersey for a single game. So here are the top players the team acquired but never got to play in a game.

Pau Gasol

The third overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft wasn't always a sure thing. Before Gasol teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win two titles in Los Angeles, he was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim on draft night.

Carmelo Anthony

After one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Carmelo Anthony and a future first-round pick were traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Dennis Schroeder. Five days after the trade went down, Anthony agreed to a contract buy-out with the Hawks before joining the Houston Rockets. The organization was nice enough to send him a jersey for his time in Atlanta. 

Luka Doncic

Debates between Luka Doncic and Trae Young will never end. However, sometimes both teams win the trade, and that's what happened at the 2018 NBA Draft. Still, it's fun to imagine what could have been for both players had they not ended up in Dallas and Atlanta, respectively.

Bill Russell

One of the most decorated NBA players of all time was almost a Hawk. In 1956, the St. Louis Hawks traded the second-overall draft pick to the Boston Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley. Although Hagan and Macauley were both Hall of Famers, the Celtics certainly won this trade. 

Not only was Russell one of the greatest centers of all time, but he has also been a Civil Rights leader throughout his entire adult life. Russell and the Hawks organization would have been a match made in heaven.

Honorable Mention: Rasheed Wallace

One of the most intimidating power forwards ever, Rasheed Wallace, did suit up for the Hawks for one game. In February of 2004, the Hawks were in the middle of a rebuild, and Wallace got a quick pit stop in Atlanta. In 42 minutes against the Nets, Wallace scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds plus five blocks before being traded to the Detroit Pistons.

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