The Atlanta Hawks were one of the most talked about teams heading into draft night, but all that trade chatter turned into just one minor deal to acquire a second-round pick. Kobe Bufkin slipped to Atlanta at 15 on a wild draft night. The 6’4 guard got plenty of buzz throughout the draft process, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor had him ranked eighth on his draft board.
Bufkin was one of three rookies that joined the Hawks in Thursday’s draft. They selected Mouhamed Gueye and Seth Lundy in the second round to give them some cost-controlled options as their payroll increases. All three could become necessary contributors after the Hawks shed salary to get under the new second tax apron.
What can fans expect from Bufkin? The 19-year-old needs time to develop, but he is excited to work with Hawks talented backcourt. Bufkin has a ton of potential, so who could supporters look to as comps for the 6’4 guard out of Michigan?
Floor comparison for Atlanta Hawks guard Kobe Bufkin: Coby White
Fans may not love to see this as his floor, but there are a ton of similarities. During his lone season at UNC, White averaged 2.1 more points and 1.2 assists in 5.5 fewer minutes per game. Their defensive stats were nearly identical per 40 minutes except for Bufkin blocking 0.4 more shots per game.
White was the seventh overall pick and is a 6’5 guard that weighs 195 pounds. Bufkin measured 6’4 and weighed 186.8 pounds at the combine. They are of similar size and both have shown flashes of playmaking ability.
Coby White has scored well during his first four NBA seasons, but he has struggled to find a consistent role as he enters restricted free agency. The 23-year-old profiles as a scoring guard off the bench that must improve his defense to get more run.
Kobe Bufkin has a higher ceiling, but in the worst case, he could become Coby White. The Hawks are hoping for more, but his playing time will be limited behind Trae Young and Dejounte just as White struggles to get minutes with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan in Chicago.