The Hawks have continued to conduct workouts with multiple players in anticipation of the 2017 NBA draft. With the 19th and 31st pick in a relatively deep draft, the Hawks may have an opportunity to pick someone that will become a solid rotation player in the future. What makes this draft even more pressing are the holes that the Hawks need to fill in their rotation. While the Hawks have some very solid starters, their bench needs additional pieces. The point guard position is especially lacking in depth with the 27-year-old rookie Malcolm Delaney being the secondary guard for the majority of the season. The Hawks also do not have a reliable center for when Dwight Howard goes to the bench, and they need to account for the possibility of losing either Paul Millsap or a large portion of their supporting cast in this offseason. Given their situation, it is likely that Atlanta will primarily be looking for a scoring big man to help with their offensive woes, and they will use their later picks to possibly draft a reasonable backup for Dennis Schroder.
Justin Jackson was one of the targets for the Hawks. At 6 feet 8 inches, he does not have the height of a big man, but he is a solid scoring option at the small forward position, putting up over 18 points a game on 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range. One of the few worries with Jackson is that he is projected to be taken far before the Hawks make their selection and that as a scoring wing, adding Jackson would mean a logjam at the wing position and he does not meet any of the positional needs for the Hawks. Regardless of this, if Jackson falls to the Hawks, they should take him because he would be a steal and most likely the best player available.
Luke Kennard is another name that has come up as a possibility for the Hawks. At 6 feet 6 inches, Kennard is another wing. Kennard is possibly the best shooter in the draft, and he can be a solid addition considering the Hawks abysmal shooting from beyond the arc. Like Jackson however, his arrival would mean a logjam at the wing position with Taurean Prince, Kent Bazemore, and Tim Hardaway Jr. already in the rotation. He is also a defensive liability because of his average athleticism and short wingspan.
Overall, it seems that the Hawks are going to choose the best player available to them. While their most important needs are a backup point guard or big man, their wing rotation could use better shooting as well. The hopes are that whoever they choose can help make a relatively quick impact and become a solid rotation piece.
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