2019 NBA Draft: 4 Reasons Atlanta Hawks Should Draft Bruno Fernando

Bruno Fernando Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Bruno Fernando Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft
Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Dedmon Replacement

Last year’s starting center and one of the best players on the Atlanta Hawks last season hits the unrestricted free agency market.

That is of course, Dewayne Dedmon, who racked up 98 starts during his 2 years in Atlanta. His 3-point and defensive prowess made him a big trade piece last February, and now that he’s a free agent, it’s unclear if he’ll be back in the ATL come October.

Hawks fans certainly want him back, but it would be understandable if the 30-year-old Dedmon seeks a slightly lesser role on a contending team rather than be a big contributor for the Hawks.

If he does sign elsewhere, Fernando could be the replacement the Hawks need. Although Alex Len would likely slide into the starting 5, Bruno could be the backup center they would have to roster.

It goes without saying that he almost certainly wouldn’t match Dedmon number for number as a rookie, but as far as rookies go, Fernando would be great.

The Hawks would be losing 15.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per 36 if Dedmon should leave, but Fernando’s college stats are pretty similar: 16.3, 12.8, 2.3, 0.8.

Again, the skill gap is a factor, and also the fact that Fernando was the key cog on Maryland instead of the 4th or 5th starter, but it still shows their similarities on the court.

The 20-year-old is no where near the 3-point threat that Dedmon is, but makes up for it with a much higher shooting percentage overall (61% last season).

There’s a good chance Dewayne Dedmon has played his last game in a Hawks uniform, and the Atlanta Hawks will likely turn to one of their (current) 6 picks in the 2019 NBA Draft to fill the center spot. If they do, Fernando has the best chance to fill the Dedmon role that was effective last season.