Atlanta Hawks: Three Draft Prospects the franchise should keep an eye on

It’s never too early to look ahead into what the Atlanta Hawks should look into this offseason. As the 2021 NBA Draft is set to take place on July 29, the Hawks have three draft picks where they can grab a young player who can make a difference. The past few seasons, Atlanta has done a phenomenal job of grabbing pieces in the draft to help build for their future in the Eastern Conference.

This past offseason, the Hawks had a terrific 2020 draft by bringing in players who show to impact the game from different perspectives. The first player that was chosen by Atlanta was Onyeka Okongwu from USC. In only one season at college, Okongwu showed tremendous promise with a great season for the Trojans. He averaged 16.2 points on the season and even secured 8.4 rebounds as well. Okongwu led the Trojans to dominate the PAC-12 with a 22-9 record overall. Despite the NCAA Tournament being canceled last season, Okongwu was still able to receive the recognition that was needed from NBA scouts.

Other key pieces that the Hawks were able to secure through the draft were Skyler Mays and Nathan Knight. Atlanta’s front office has set a goal to put their team in the best position to grow rapidly. As Trae Young and John Collins continue to grow as stars in the NBA, they have had a great supporting cast with the combination of young talent and veteran leaders. With that being said, the Hawks can capitalize on their progression by using the draft to fill their needs. Let’s look into three players who the Atlanta Hawks can draft this season.

Atlanta Hawks draft prospect No. 1) Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers, NBL)

It would be phenomenal for Atlanta to get a backup point guard who can be an initiator on the floor. At 18 years old, Josh Giddey already possesses point god tactics and shows to always be in sync with his teammates. Developing great chemistry with the rest of the Hawks’ roster can make Giddey a team favorite in the locker room.

With the Hawks possessing so many versatile weapons, Giddey has the combination of finding open shooters and passing out of the pick-and-roll. As he can be a replacement for Trae Young, there won’t be a question as far as who can be a playmaker when their star point guard is out of the game. As the Hawks traded Rajon Rondo at the trade deadline, the next best thing as a point guard can be Josh Giddey.

Atlanta Hawks draft prospect No. 2) Daishen Nix (G League)

If the Hawks were to miss an opportunity on drafting Giddey, there are still an abundance of talented point guards on the board. Daishen Nix is a phenomenal floor general who can read the court very well. His impact as a backup point guard could help Atlanta in the future.

During his only season for the G League Ignite, Nix averaged 8.8 points along with 5.3 assists. Although he began the season looking out of shape, eventually Nix became a huge factor in Ignite’s season. His ability to make his teammates better will allow him to play in pivotal moments if drafted by Atlanta.

Isaiah Livers (Michigan)

Having a stretch forward is always a good advantage for a playoff team. Isaiah Livers is a senior whose game shows maturity as he is prepared to take it to the next level. With Atlanta building for the future, Livers can make his presence felt with his ability to score in many ways.

The best part about Livers on the floor is that Nate McMillan can switch him over to the power forward position. He has the size and agility to make things difficult on the defensive end and has shown that he can defend stretch bigs during his time at Michigan. Livers’ transition into the NBA will challenge him to elevate his game to the next level. Playing with a team like Atlanta will allow him to grow into his true potential in an unselfish culture.