Kobe Bufkin could make a big impact as a rookie
Rookies don’t often impact winning in the NBA, and Kobe Bufkin may not either. At least, not in the traditional sense. He won’t have the expectations that many young lead guards do, having to carry the load for a rebuilding franchise.
Bufkin, the No. 15 overall pick in this year’s draft, will instead be able to come in and play freely with the Hawks’ starting backcourt figuring to log heavy minutes.
They also have Bogdanovic who is capable of acting as a tertiary ball handler.
What they didn’t have last year that Bufkin should bring, is another player who thrives at driving into the lane and is capable of putting pressure on the rim to create better looks for the team’s shooters. He could also help them rise from their 20th-place ranking in free throws per game from last season.
Bufkin has already received votes of confidence from his teammates, and there was word that he could be a potential swing piece in landing Siakam.
But Bufkin has a chance to get off to a fast start much like AJ Griffin did last season.
He won’t be leaned on outside of his best skills out of the gates – the Hawks have veteran guards Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews to fill the gaps for now. He could, however, become a vital piece of the rotations by season’s end.