Atlanta Hawks Mock Draft 3.0

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 22: Luka Doncic,
MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 22: Luka Doncic, /
2 of 5
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 22: Luka Doncic,
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 22: Luka Doncic, /

2. player. 125. . SF/SG. Real Madrid. Luka Doncic

As of this writing, Atlanta is in line for the second overall pick behind the hapless Phoenix Suns, who have lost 13 straight games and lost to the Hawks on a Taurean Prince game-winner the last time the two teams played.

The Memphis Grizzlies have been winning too many games recently, so they are now in pole position for the third overall pick.

To this writer, the second overall pick is the exact position that I want the Hawks to obtain in May’s NBA draft lottery. Most pundits have this draft with a top tier featuring two players: DeAndre Ayton and our pick for the Hawks in this situation, Slovenian phenom Luka Doncic.

If you’ll remember, we sung the praises of Luka Doncic and picked him with the #1 overall pick in our first mock draft, and very little has changed in the intervening months to change our minds from picking him one pick later. Though he has somewhat cooled off in the EuroLeague, he continues to express astonishing basketball IQ and preternatural passing ability – both of which are things that the Hawks are sorely lacking.

The main thing here is that the onus to make a decision is on the team with the first overall pick (the Suns in this scenario). The Hawks could simply sit back, let Phoenix make their choice, then select whichever player remains. For Atlanta, Doncic would immediately make the team more viable on offense, and help to improve the team’s lack of playmakers and decision-makers in the pick-and-roll.

The amount of times that John Collins is open rolling to the lane, looking for a pass that never comes is laughable, and something the Hawks should try to remedy with this selection.

Though the jump-shooting numbers for Doncic have fallen considerably since his knockdown efforts earlier in the season, he is still 10th in the Euroleague with a 61.9 true shooting percentage. Though he is only shooting 30.6 percent from deep on 4.8 attempts per game, his form is excellent and he might just be going through an extended cold steak – which will be affect his numbers more in the shortened minutes he receives in the Euroleague.

Overall, Doncic’s stats are stellar: 15.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game and 1 steal per game in only 24.6 minutes playing for Real Madrid in the Euroleague. Luka is in the conversation for the Euroleague’s MVP award, and if he won, he would be the first teenager to ever take home that honor.

Though his per-game numbers are striking, especially considering a relatively low minutes load, it is prescient to take a look at the per-36 minutes numbers for Doncic as well, which is more representative of the time he will play in the NBA: 22.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.5 steals. Wow.

That all-around production would automatically vault Atlanta’s talent level one tier, as they are currently running at a talent deficit at every position.

If Doncic can find his shot from distance in the NBA, he is a can’t-miss prospect and could transform the franchise for years to come, especially if provided with more terrific prospects later on in this draft such as…