It’s NBA Draft Day!!!
Get ready for the all the action with the Soaring Down South staff as we take shots at answering the most important questions addressing our beloved Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 NBA Draft!
1. Should the Hawks trade up in the draft?
David Menze (Editor-In-Chief) – No. There are no “superstars” in this draft. The three best players (in my opinion) Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter Jr., will all be off the board by the 10th pick. Due to the Hawks only having three players signed under contract for next season, they need to keep both first-round picks and select two players that will step in and contribute right away, even if they are both just “role” players.
Wesley Morton (Senior Writer) – Only for the right player in the right fit. I don’t think the Hawks should go into draft night having pre-determined that they will or will not move up in the draft, but if there is a player sliding and the only thing separating him and a red and white jersey is a team willing to deal, then pull the trigger. For example, if an impact two-way wing player was available near the bottom of the lottery (say Oladipo or Porter) and for some reason is still sitting with 7 picks gone by, then how could you not try to package both first round picks and move up? The name of the game in today’s NBA is to weigh options and risks accordingly and be flexible.
Josh Lane (Staff Writer) – I would love for the Hawks to move up. Trey Burke is a guy that I have fallen in love with. To do this, the team would have to package both first-round picks though.
Brandon Barnes (Staff Writer) – I can’t tell you what GM Danny Ferry is thinking, but in my opinion trading up to the low-teens would be a bad move, unless Ferry and coach Budenholzer are confident they’ve found a cornerstone guy (which is unlikely). If they can package their two first-rounders for a top-5 pick, I’m all for it. In such an equal draft, there’s no huge difference between 7 and 17. I’m in favor of them drafting two guys in the first round that can join the squad next season. We need quantity over quality right now, unless the quality is exceptional.
William Perry (Staff Writer) – No. Atlanta really needs all the young talent it can lock down since the possibility exists that only four or five players from last season’s squad will be with the team next season. In addition, rookie contracts are inexpensive and do not add much liability, if any. In my opinion, there isn’t much of a talent difference in the players projected to go 10-20.
Dan Kamhout (Staff Writer) – There is no need to trade up in this draft, since there are no likely “superstars”. The Hawks have just as good of a chance to land a quality player picking at 17 & 18 as many of the teams have picking above them. They should hang onto those picks.
2. Do you think GM Danny Ferry will use the four total draft picks to select four players?
Menze – No. I want him to, but I don’t think he will. Hopefully he keeps both first round picks and uses them, but I could see Ferry trading one of the second round selections in exchange for a future pick.
Morton – I think so, although the second-rounders may be of the draft-and-stash variety. The Hawks have only 3 players penciled in for next season, with two others as restricted free agents. It may be necessary to make sure to fill out the roster as much as possible before relying on free agency.
Lane – Honestly, I’m not that sure since he has kept everything incredibly covered up. This is why I can’t wait until draft night to see what happens.
Barnes – I think he’ll use all four picks and use them well. In the past, we’ve seen Hawks GM’s sell second-rounders. However, this is Danny Ferry and he hasn’t run the club the same way past general managers have. I’m looking for him to find some hidden (maybe even foreign) talent in the second round.
Perry – No. Danny Ferry is an opportunist by nature and I believe an enticing offer from a team like Golden State, with desires to secure more picks, will ultimately pry one or two picks away from the Hawks in a packaged deal.
Kamhout – Yes. There are always rumors about teams making a move on draft night in the days leading up to the draft. This year is no different. I’ve read rumors about the Hawks looking to be “active” on June 27th. I’ll believe it when I see it. That’s not a knock on Ferry or the Hawks. Making trades, especially involving draft picks, is easier said than done.
3. Should the Hawks take a Euro player with one of their two first-round picks?
Menze – It’s very enticing, but I would have to say no. My favorite Euro player is 6’9’’ point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece, but I’m not sure he’s ready to make the jump from overseas to the NBA this season — maybe in a year or two. The Hawks need to use both first round selections on players who can step in and contribute right away.
Morton – If the front office feels he is the best pick, then yes. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs has reiterated his taste for international players, and I would suspect Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer and the rest of the staff to follow in his footsteps. Guys like Sergey Karasev, Lucas Noguiera and Giannis Antetokounmpo should definitely be in play if they fall to 17th overall.
Lane – I wouldn’t mind seeing them take Gobert due to his size and then stash him overseas for a year to polish his skills and build up some bulk.
Barnes – Should they? I’d rather them not, but I can see Ferry swinging for the fences with one of those first-rounders. If he misses and strikes out, no one (nationally, that is) will remember his flub, but if he hits a homerun then he will be praised for his gamble. In terms of league-wide legacy (which is such a common topic these days), a foreign risk could be a win-win for Ferry.
Perry – Yes. This is one of the weakest drafts in the past decade and the Hawks would be wise to stash a player in Europe for a couple of years in order to keep salary off the books and remain flexible in the team’s free agency pursuits. This is the perfect draft to take a shot with a foreigner.
Kamhout – No, even though I still really like German point guard Dennis Schroeder, who just may be available when the Hawks are on the board. Instead, there are some American players I have started to like.
4. Which is the best choice for the Hawks at pick No. 17?
Menze – Gorgui Dieng. Atlanta desperately needs some depth at PF and C, and the 6’11’’ NCAA champ would be a player who would make an impact right away. Dieng’s defensive prowess would also be a nice compliment to the more offensive-minded Al Horford, who plays C but is really a true PF.
Morton – Giannis Antetokounmpo is a physical specimen standing at 6’9″ with a wingspan that stretches for miles. He is adept at sliding past defenders on his way to the hole and can be a game changer on the defensive end with highlight blocks. He’ll have to add onto his slim 215lb frame, but the upside for this Greek player is remarkable.
Lane – I would love to get Dieng if he drops to this spot. His interior shot-blocking and rebounding compliments what the Hawks get from Al Horford. If Dieng is gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mason Plumlee selected.
Barnes – I’ll be completely honest with you: my extracurricular activities have kept me from conducting a lot of the prospect studying I’ve done in the past and I don’t know as much as I would like to about these players. With that in mind, I’d love to see Ferry play it relatively safe and go with either A) Gorgui Dieng or B) Reggie Bullock. Dieng is a ready-now big man that should have a good run in the league because of his superb shot blocking ability, but a rumor has been floated around recently about his knees being an issue. He’d be a great pickup if the training staff clears those knees of his (which are probably fine; just a rumor to scare off potential suitors). Bullock is a shooter with credentials similar to John Jenkins from 2012. He’s bigger at 6’7’’ and can guard both the 2 and 3 positions. Sounds to me like a safe pick. Not to mention he hails from UNC, a university that consistently puts out guys who hustle, play solid defense, and have a team-first mentality (oh, and then there’s Marvin Williams). I’m only slightly kidding.
Perry – Gorgui Dieng. The Louisville standout projects as a great fit alongside Al Horford as the defensive stopper and rim protector the Hawks so desperately need. His offensive skills are a bit raw, but his 7’3’’ wingspan and intense motor will really help his transition into a competent offensive player at the next level.
Kamhout – Jamaal Franklin! I’ve been driving the “draft-Jamaal-Franklin” bus for some time now. I love his toughness and the way he plays defense. The knock on him is that he is not much of a shooter. I’m betting that he can improve in that area.
5. Which player is the best choice for the Hawks at pick No. 18?
Menze – Tim Hardaway Jr. I love his shooting stroke, his ability to handle the ball (if needed), and his NBA pedigree. Hardaway Jr. showed during the NCAA Tournament that he has great shooting range, can hit the clutch shots, and also can take the pressure off teammates (Trey Burke) by bringing the ball up court and running the offense. His athleticism and intangibles are also very underrated. The Hawks would be wise to draft a guy of Hardaway Jr.’s many talents.
Morton – Reggie Bullock of UNC can help stretch the floor from the forward position. He is a 6’7″ three-point shooting machine, shooting over 43% from long range in his junior season this past year. He has concerns handling the ball and playing interior defense, but would be a good fit at the small forward position. Like John Jenkins and Mike Scott, he is a multi-year college basketball player with no off-the-court concerns in the vicinity.
Lane – Jamaal Franklin is a player that I would like to see on this team because of his hard work and energy he brings. H seems to be the biggest sleeper in the draft and more than likely he will fall to this pick.
Barnes – With pick number 18, I’d be pleased with Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jamaal Franklin. Giannis is a bit of a project, but I’m fine with a guard being worked overseas (not my preference, but I’d survive). I know in the third question I said I don’t want projects, I know. He just wouldn’t be as much of a project as Gobert or some other Europeans. He has a Durant-like body without the Durant-like shooting ability. That can always grow, as can his strength and quickness. Franklin lucked out when Kawhi Leonard had such a fantastic NBA Finals because the San Diego State alums drew several comparisons. He may not have the freakish wingspan and hand-size that Leonard has, but he’s still a solid defender who can help out the Hawks. Brazilian center Lucas Noguiera is an intriguing pick as well, but I see him being taken before the Hawks are on the clock.
Perry – Sergey Karasev. At the tender age of 19, Karasev managed to lead a very solid Russian league in scoring with a sweet jumper and sexy playmaking abilities. He has a quick release and a rapidly improving outside shot that sets his ceiling very high.
Kamhout – I am torn on this pick. Mason Plumlee or Alan Crabbe? I’ll shut my eyes and pick Crabbe. He is an “outside-the-box” pick, since he is a SG and not the big man so many feel the Hawks need. I just know Crabbe is going to have a good NBA career. He has the size, shooting touch, and scoring ability that will always make him valuable.
6. Who is the one player the Hawks should not draft?
Menze – Shabazz Muhammad. He certainly won’t be on the board when the Hawks pick, but I just hate that guy. Everyone clamors about his offensive game, but to me he’s a wanna-be James Harden. He might also be the most selfish player in the draft. Did you know in 32 games played this past season he only had 27 assists? 27! Are you kidding?! That’s less than 1 per game. A player who had the ball as much as he did last season NEEDS to more of a team player. I’ll also never forget the image of him walking past his teammates, as they celebrate a buzz-beating victory over the Washington Huskies, in disgust because the big crybaby was mad that he didn’t get the ball, instead someone else (Larry Drew Jr.) took the game-winning shot. See for yourself.
Morton – At no point should the Hawks draft Michael Carter-Williams. Though he has had a solid college career with respectable assist numbers, drafting him would represent a change from aggressive point guards (in the mold of Tony Parker or to a lesser degree Jeff Teague) to more passive “traditionally pure” point guard play. I think Teague finds his way back in Atlanta regardless but I think the front office will look to players who can create for themselves efficiently before settling for the one they call MCW.
Lane – Kelly Olynk. Yes, he can score and looks good here, but our biggest problem as a team is rebounding and he won’t provide that since he has the athleticism of a snail.
Barnes – Rudy Gobert in the first round. I like his ability to height (yes, I made “tall” a verb), but he’s too much of a project for this Hawks team. I can deal with a guard being a project, but I don’t know if Gobert can bulk up enough to be a solid post player. String beans take a while to ripen.
Perry – Kelly Olynyk. His offensive game is very impressive, but far too similar to that of Al Horford. The two wouldn’t complement each other well making his presence a bit redundant. Pressing questions also surround his rebounding and defensive abilities.
Kamhout – Rudy Gobert. Everytime I see him, I’m expecting him to turn around and yell “I AM A BUST!!” at the top of his lungs. He is a true project. And, from my experience following basketball, projects tend to stay projects.