All eyes will be focused on Atlanta General Manager Travis Schlenk this Thursday to see how he wheels and deals Atlanta’s six draft picks.
The much anticipated NBA draft is right around the corner and Hawks fans are anxiously waiting to see who will be the newest member of this young exciting team. Over the past few months we here at Hawksbeat have been scouting some of possible players who might end up in Atlanta. If you haven’t checked out some of our scouting podcasts we invite you to do that.
This site is dedicated to the Atlanta Hawks and their fans so doing a mock draft for the entire NBA is not what we are going to do. Our mock draft will be exclusively to the Hawks. We’ll examine several different scenarios and explain our reasons for our picks. We want to hear from you, what would you like for the Hawks to do on Draft night?
Assuming the Hawks keep the number 8, 10 and 17 picks in the first round and their second round picks.
It is highly unlikely that the Hawks keep all 6 picks as currently slated. The majority of the mock drafts have the Hawks selecting Cam Reddish at 8 and Jaxson Hayes at 10. The 17 pick varies but I’ve seen names like: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Bruno Fernando, Nic Claxton, P.J Washington and Grant Williams.
With the number 8 pick: Cam Reddish
Let it be known, that if Deandre Hunter or Jarrett Culver are on the board I would totally want them over Reddish. If there Hawks were looking to trade a pick I would hope this pick would be included. I think the Hawks have a huge need for a dynamic wing and Reddish definitely has the potential. I do have a number of concerns about him and I would actually feel better selecting him at 10 but I don’t see any players who I think will realistically be available that I can see taking over Reddish. I think there is a lot of risk here but at 8 if the Hawks wanted to roll the dice on his potential I understand but I am very skeptical.
Honorable mention: Outside of Culver and Hunter the only other guy I would be comfortable with the Hawks picking at this spot would be Sekou Doumbouya. Anyone else would be too much of a reach for me.
With the number 10 pick: Sekou Doumbouya
For the Hawks to land Doumbouya he might have to slip a bit because some mock drafts have him going at 9 but it is plausible he could be there at 10. Nothing is set in stone. I have him ranked slightly over Nassir Little, he’s 3 inches taller and slightly bigger than little and equally as athletic. There is a concern about the talent that he has played against but putting him on a team that wants to run like the Hawks could be a good fit. If Doumbouya falls to 10 and the Hawks scoop him I will like this pick better than Reddish at 8. Many have link Jaxson Hayes at this spot but think that you always go with best player available and I have at least 3 to 4 guys ranked above Hayes at this spot.
Honorable mention: I would actually like Reddish at the 10 spot but I would also see value in picking Brandon Clarke here. Nassir Little possible if the Hawks really love him because he definitely won’t be there at 17.
With the number 17 pick: Keldon Johnson
I do see this pick as one of the likely picks to be traded if the Hawks decide to make some draft day moves and I really believe they will. However, for the sake of argument lets assume they keep the pick. Johnson has been mocked in the 15-20 range and I think grabbing him at 17 would be solid. He’s a two way player who has a nice shot and the hope is that he will get better when the NBA becomes his job. He is guy you play at the small forward and shooting guard at his size. He’s an above average defender and its time for the Hawks to start bringing in guys who play some defense.
Honorable mention: I also think PJ Washington, Rui Hachimura and Nickeil Alexander-Walker would also be of value at 17 as well. Some are down on the Hachimura kid I tend to think he would be a solid NBA pro with tremendous upside.
2nd Round picks: #35, #41, #44
“It’s no secret with our 3 second round picks we are going to try and package them and move up if we can.” – Travis Schlenk via Chris Vivlamore of the AJC
These are the grab and stash picks, or the hope-they-develop-in-the-G-league picks. Here are a list of guys you probably don’t know but keep an eye out for them in the second round.
Tremond Waters and Carsen Edwards are two point guards the Hawks might want to roll the dice on. Bruno Fernando is an interesting prospect that could go anywhere from 17 to 35. Chume Okeke might be a guy who has late 1st round talent but still could be around at 35. Terance Mann, Grant Williams and Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton could also be in play too. Trying to pin point second round picks is like trying to hit a bulls eye blind folded so your guess is as good as ours.
Packages: Do the Hawks package a collection of 8, 10, and 17 to move to 4 or 5??
I expect movement from the Hawks, I just don’t know where they want to move.
The Hawks have admittedly been interested in moving up into that top 5. Rumors with the Knicks, Pelicans and Cavs who own the 3rd, 4th and 5th picks seems to be a spot the Hawks would like to move to. What it will take, I’m not exactly sure but one thing Hawks GM has is plenty of picks which offers him a lot of flexibility.
Last year when he pulled the trigger to acquire Trae Young for Luka Doncic, Schlenk let everyone know he wasn’t the type of GM scared to make a move. So here is my Hawksbeat top 5 big board in case the Hawks move up.
Hawksbeat Top 5 Big Board (Outside of Zion and Ja)
DeAndre Hunter – I may be the only guy who has Hunter at the top of my list above RJ and even Jarrett but I’m looking at this purely from a chemistry standpoint. Hunter is the defensive dog that the Hawks so badly need. How many quarters last year did this Hawks team give up 40 points in a quarter? This team needs to start addressing their defensive inadequacy. A defensive guy on the wing would be perfect for this Hawks team.
Jarrett Culver – The way Culver played in the tournament is a bit concerning for me but the kid has a great skill set and had a great year for Texas Tech. While I have him rated slightly below Hunter, defensively he is still a really good defender. Offensively he can score on all 3 levels and he would fit in seamlessly with the Hawks.
RJ Barrett – Most people have RJ as the bonafide #3 in this draft which would land him in New York but for my list he’s the number 3 guy on my big board for the Hawks. RJ has a unique skill set but I’m not 100% his style would be the absolute best fit for the Hawks. I could be wrong and if the Hawks make a move to get him I won’t be mad for gambling on a talent like RJ.
Cam Reddish – There has been legitimate questions about how hard Reddish plays at times and like I mentioned before this isn’t my favorite prospect. However the Hawks don’t need a point guard so it wouldn’t make sense to put Coby White or Darius Garland here. I still have Reddish ranked above Sekou Doumbouya, Jaxson Hayes, and Brandon Clarke.
Sekou Doumbouya – I like this kids athleticism and like I mentioned earlier, team him with a running point guard like Trae Young and this young kid will thrive. He is number 5 on our list.
Let us know your thoughts .. leave us a comment or tweet us at @Hawksbeat.