2019 NBA Draft: Ranking the 16 Best (and Worst) Lottery Picks for Atlanta Hawks

RJ Barrett #5 and Zion Williamson #1 Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett #5 and Zion Williamson #1 Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft
De’Andre Hunter Jarrett Culver Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

#3, #2 — De’Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver

Now we’re getting into the juiciest fits on the entire 2019 NBA Draft board for the Atlanta Hawks.

Both of these players have long been linked to the Atlanta Hawks due to the fact that they will likely be taken somewhere around the 5th pick (which is where the Hawks currently sit in draft lottery standings). Previously, in our first full mock draft, we had the Hawks selecting Jarrett Culver – a brilliant defender out of Texas Tech at #5 overall.

Then in our second full mock draft, the Atlanta Hawks instead opted for the “safer” pick of De’Andre Hunter out of Virginia, who was the best player on a title-winning team who is locked into a three-and-D archetype that seems to suit him just fine.

However, which player is truly the better fit? Personally, this writer has flip-flopped on this subject, and the choice seems to come down to a whim on most occasions. For this piece, Culver might be the better option: He is younger, has more upside and has a multi-faceted skill set that is set to continue to develop on both ends of the floor for years to come.

Hunter, for his part, immediately comes into the league with an NBA-ready frame, terrific length and proven defensive chops that helped lead Virginia to its first-ever NCAA Championship in school history. Who was he playing against and defending for much of the title game? Culver.

This is a toss-up, but Culver could be a secondary ballhandler alongside Trae Young, which is something that Hunter cannot claim. Culver by a hair.