2019 NBA Draft: 8 Most Intriguing Players for Atlanta Hawks at Draft Combine

Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft
Nicolas Claxton Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Nicolas Claxton

We have previously explored how Nicolas Claxton might be a sweet second round steal for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2019 NBA Draft, but because he will get a chance to showcase his unique skill set in the combine, there might be a possibility that he shoots up draft boards over the next few months.

According to ToTheMean’s Bayesian regularized adjusted plus/minus numbers, Claxton grades out as the 22nd-best player in the country last season – ahead of obvious first round picks such as Ja Morant, Rui Hachimura, Bruno Fernando and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (all of which will be at the Combine).

Due to the lack of consistent point guards on Georgia’s roster, Claxton served as the team’s de facto point guard at times – running the offense and pushing the ball in transition after nabbing a rebound.

Claxton’s varied skill set was lost somewhat due to a horrific season by Georgia as a team (going 2-16 in conference play), but he was one of very few players that finished Top 70 in the country per KenPom in both free throw rate (64.4%, 41st) and block rate (8%, 68th).

That combination of defensive utility and offensive upside should be something that all teams will be looking for in the 2019 NBA Draft, but the Atlanta Hawks could scoop up Claxton early in the second round – unless he blows up at the combine and becomes a shoo-in first round prospect.