Atlanta Hawks Mock Draft at the All-Star Break

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 25: Luka Doncic,
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 25: Luka Doncic, /
2 of 5

Luka Doncic. 1. player. 125. . SF/SG. Hawks

The Hawks are currently tied with Phoenix for the worst record in the league, but the Suns actually beat Atlanta earlier this year — giving the Hawks the critical tie-breaking loss.

Though there is still a lingering stigma attached to non-American players for some reason (could be strictly from blind xenophobia), Luka Dončić, who currently plays for Real Madrid in the EuroLeague is as close to a sure thing as possible.

Many might be shocked that DeAndre Ayton is not on this board, but Dončić is already putting up big numbers for his professional club, which already has far steeper competition that features pro athletes and better coaching overall.

Dončić is a basketball savant, and his basketball IQ and feel for the game are almost preternaturally amazing. Take a look for yourself:

A 6’8” wing with a sharp handle, terrific court vision and sweet shooting stroke? That sounds like a number 1 overall pick to me. His first step is explosive, he has size and strength, and here’s the kicker: Dončić is still only 18 years old (he turns 19 on February 28).

In terms of fit on the Hawks, Dončić would immediately make the Hawks a far better offensive team, an area where they’ve been surprisingly proficient this season.

Dončić will be able to break down defenses with his ballhandling wizardry, drive cleanly to the basket and find open shooters on the wing like Bazemore and Dorsey.

The passing skills of Dončić are clearly one of his major assets, and he would be able to find John Collins with ease on the pick-and-roll. JC always seems to be open as the roll guy on pick-and-rolls this season, but he rarely gets all the lobs that Dwight Howard benefitted from last season.

Statistically, Dončić’s numbers might not scream “powerhouse offensive player,” but it must be noted that the Euroleague is much different from the NBA. Quarters only last 10 minutes, and players usually only average about 20 minutes a game.

For Real Madrid, Dončić is averaging 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 25 minutes per game, and he leads the EuroLeague in games played with 22.

To truly measure Dončić’s impact, though, one must look at his averages per 36 minutes, which extrapolates how high his per game averages would be if he played more time per game. Those numbers are indeed eye-popping: 23.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.5 steals.

Clearly, Dončić is a once-in-a-lifetime prospect – a basketball wunderkind that the Hawks would do well to land if they were able to get the first pick in this offseason’s draft.