Atlanta Hawks Mock Draft 4.0

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: Marvin Bagley III
OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: Marvin Bagley III /
3 of 5
CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 16: Khyri Thomas
CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 16: Khyri Thomas /

Creighton. Khyri Thomas. 19. player. 125. . SG

Though selecting Zhaire Smith out of Texas Tech here would be favorable, it’s doubtful that an electric athlete like Smith will still be on the board when the Hawks choose their 2nd of 3 first-round picks in the 2018 draft.

Instead, the team should reach a bit and select Khyri Thomas out of Creighton. Thomas projects to be a rock-solid defender and a plus three-point shooter, typifying the switchable, three-and-D profile that most NBA teams are looking to personify in the pace-and-space era.

Thomas’s defensive acumen would also buoy a Hawks team that finished with the 21st-ranked defense in the 2017-18 season – though they looked much, much worse than that at times. Thomas’s length (a roughly 6’10” – 7’ wingspan) and ball-hawking defensive style would greatly benefit Atlanta’s porous perimeter defense, especially when combined with a healthy DeAndre’ Bembry, who profiled to be the Hawks’ best wing defender before missing more than 55 games with various ailments and injuries in the 17-18 season.

In 3 NCAA seasons, Thomas had averaged a 99.7 defensive rating with remarkable consistency – his highest defensive rating was this season at 100.9.

On the offensive side, Thomas projects to be a stellar shooter, as he shot 40.6 percent from deep in his 3 college seasons on a 38.5 percent three-point attempt rate. His offensive rating also rose in each of his three seasons at Creighton, popping up to 122.4 in his final season to go along with a career-high 3.1 offensive win shares.

Thomas would immediately upgrade the Hawks’ wing rotation and could also serve as a replacement for Kent Bazemore at two guard if he were to leave via trade – though his salary might be prohibitive.

Other Options: Troy Brown, Shake Milton, Keita Bates-Diop, Jerome Robinson