ESPN is back with their third annual NBA player rankings, and the list is littered with Atlanta Hawks players.
ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player for the third straight year — and counting them down on Twitter (@ESPNNBA), from No. 500 to No. 1.
This year, we asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season. This includes both the quality and the quantity of his expected contributions, combined in one overall rating.
We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of “the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season.”
Hawks sharpshooter John Jenkins makes the list at the 301 mark with a 3.27 rating, one slot above new backup small forward DeMarre Carroll at the 302 spot. Jenkins’ 2013 ranking climbed 97 spots from his 398 ranking last year as a rookie.
Selected in the first round by Atlanta with the 23rd overall pick, Jenkins was widely considered the best pure shooter in the draft. The 6’4″ sniper from Vanderbilt shot 48.3% (72-149) from behind the arc in his freshman season, 40.8% (100-245) as a sophomore, and 43.9% (134-305) as a junior. As a sophomore, he led the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in scoring (19.5) and 3-point field goals made per game (3.1), and finished second in free-throw percentage (.894). As a junior, Jenkins averaged 19.9 points per game, tops in the SEC for the second consecutive season, and also tied an SEC single-season record for three-pointers made in a season with 134. He also led the nation in three-pointers made per game (3.9) and was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.
As a rookie with the Hawks last season, Jenkins played in 61 games (2 starts), averaging 6.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.8 minutes per game, while shooting 38.4 percent from downtown and 44.6 percent from the field overall. He dropped double-digit points in 11 contests, including hitting the 20-point mark three times, all of which came in the final month on the regular-season. He scored a career-high 23 points against the Spurs on April 6th going a perfect 3-for-3 from long range and 6-for-6 the foul line. He finished the game shooting 7-of-9 overall (77.8%).
Jenkins will be an important player moving forward with the Hawks, and may even begin the new season as the starting shooting guard if Lou Williams isn’t fully recovered from his ACL injury.
The first Hawk to make ESPN’s list was newly signed Macedonian big man Pero Antic. Antic is ranked 465 out of 500 players, despite never suiting up for an NBA team in his pro career. The 6’11″ PF/C was signed by the Hawks on July 25. Third-string point guard Shelvin Mack made the list at the 431 slot. New backup shooting guard Jared Cunningham cracked the list at the 408 mark. Second-year forward Mike Scott makes the cut at the 394 spot.
Check back soon as we continue to roll out all of the Hawks’ players rankings.