With all of the power forwards and backup centers entering free agency this offseason the Hawks will almost certainly look to draft a player at one of those positions.
John Collins: PF
If John Collins is still on the board when the Hawks pick, this should be a no brainer. He’s extremely athletic; a great mix of strength, speed, and agility that should translate well to the NBA game. Collins, a sophomore out of Wake Forest, was one of the most underrated players in basketball last season. He averaged 19 points, 1.6 blocks, and 9.8 rebounds per game. He also led the ACC in offensive rebounds per game. There is no question that work needs to be done on his shot and post game, but his intangibles and stats speak for themselves, John Collins is going to be a very good player in the NBA.
- Scoring ability
- Feel for the game
- Possible lack of translatable skills
Justin Patton: C
Patton would be another great pick for the Hawks. At 7 feet tall and just 19 years old, Patton is very fast and agile for a center which makes him dangerous in transition. He has to work on his skills and strength as he only averaged just over six rebounds per game and did very little working in the post. If the Hawks take him he could spend two years developing behind Dwight Howard then possibly, depending on how he has grown, take over the Hawk’s starting center role.
- Skill potential
- Offensive skill
TJ Leaf: PF
Leaf was half of the fantastic freshman duo at UCLA that took college basketball by storm, the other half of course being possible #1 overall pick Lonzo Ball. He led the team in scoring and had the 5th best offensive rating for PF/Cs in college basketball. Leaf is a natural scorer who can shoot, drive, and finish around the rim. He provided to be a great lob target for the nation’s top passer Lonzo Ball. Leaf will come in and immediately be able to score relatively well for a rookie, but his growth on both ends of the basketball would be the question. Even though he was just a freshman, his ceiling is probably lower than the other players on this list.
- Good offensive fit in the NBA
- Playing through traffic
- Will scoring translate?
Jarrett Allen: C
When watching Allen play, you can’t help but think of Jazz center Rudy Gobert. This 6’-11” freshman scored 13.4 points , grabbed 8.4 rebounds, and also had 1.5 blocks per game. Allen has the potential to be one of the top defenders in the NBA. His shot is also above average for a player his size and age, so a lot of work on that could turn him into a danger on the offensive end as well. His long arms and big hands make him an intriguing target for teams because if they can develop his skill he will be a fantastic NBA player.
- Shot blocking
- Solid touch around basket
- Good offensive rebounder
- Weak frame for a big man
- Needs to improve toughness on glass
- Limited offensive game
Other possible targets:
Harry Giles, Duke: PF/C
Isaiah Hartenstein, international: C
Ivan Rabb, Cal: PF
As usual the Hawks have a draft pick right in the middle of the draft. Barring a great surprise where the Hawks get lucky by drafting a future MVP, the best case scenario is the Hawks draft a solid all-star talent. Luckily, it is highly unlikely that all of these guys will be gone by the time the 19th pick rolls around, so the Hawks will have good talent to choose from. It would be great to see them take one of these younger guys, all freshman and sophomores, that may not be as good right now but who have much better upsides than a seasoned senior.