Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft Recap

Atlanta moved up to the #4 pick in the draft in a trade with New Orleans. With that pick, the Hawks selected De’Andre Hunter, the 6’7″ guard/forward out of Virginia. Hunter is most known for his outstanding defense.

Atlanta acquired their 10th overall pick in the draft night trade last year with Dallas which also involved the exchange of Trae Young and Luka Dončić. With that pick, Atlanta selected Cam Reddish, the 6’8″ guard/forward from Duke University. Reddish is known for his ability as a knockdown three point shooter.

The Hawks got the 34th overall pick in the draft in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. That pick turned into Bruno Fernando, the 6’10” forward from Maryland. Fernando averaged a double-double in his sophomore season with Maryland.

Atlanta Hawks Draft Profile: Jarrett Culver

http://www.northjersey.com

With the Atlanta Hawks having three first round picks, they might try and trade up to get Jarrett Culver. Culver is a shooting guard from Texas Tech. He is 6’6 195 pounds and would fit perfectly for the Hawks. Culver plays very good defense as he has quick hands and great defensive instincts. Culver is also an above average rebounder for a man of his size and is a difficult matchup for anyone in the fast break. Last season, he played a huge role in Texas Tech’s offense as he averaged 18.5 points per game, while also shooting 46.1 percent. Culver also average 3.7 assists and averaged 6.4 rebounds per game. He shot 30.4 percent from three averaged 32.5 minutes. Culver is such a threat offensively, that he can easily draw defenders especially when he drives to the paint.

One of the things that makes Culver so good is that he has the ability to make a big play when his team needs it. Everyone saw this in the NCAA tournament where Culver help lead Texas Tech to the National Championship against Virginia. Culver’s best game of the tournament came against Michigan in the Sweet 16 where he finished the game with 22 points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. He did struggle some in the tournament, but was able to help Texas Tech when he was off. Despite the loss to Virginia in the national championship game, Culver still was able to get 9 rebounds, had 5 assists, and 2 steals.

The one weakness that Culver does have is his three point shooting. In his Freshman year, he shot 38.2 percent from three. In his Sophomore season, he shot 30.4 percent from three (as previously stated in the article). It is expected that whoever gets Culver, he will improve his three point shooting. Even though Culver’s three point shooting still isn’t great, defenders still have to respect his shot. Despite Culver’s three point shooting difficulties, he would be a great get for the Hawks. Whoever gets Culver in the draft, he will make an immediate impact.

For more on the 2019 Hawks draft prospects and all things Hawks, follow @ATLHawks_Talk on twitter.

 

By: Stewart Zwald  @SDZwald041599

Atlanta Hawks Draft Profile: Brandon Clarke

http://www.arizonasports.com

The Atlanta Hawks should definitely consider Gonzaga’s forward Brandon Clarke. Clarke is 6’8 215 pounds with a very good athletic ability and outstanding instincts. He is an elite defensive prospect and is also good offensively. Last season for Gonzaga, Clarke shot 68.7 percent from the floor, averaged 16.9 points per game, and also averaged 28.1 minutes per game. However, he did not shoot the three ball well last season, as he shot 26.7 percent from three. He did average 3.1 blocks and 1.2 steals. Among power forwards in this draft, Clarke ranks second behind Duke’s Zion Williamson.

As stated previously, Clarke is a very good defensive prospect in this draft. Clarke’s blocking ability is a big plus and how active he is on both offensive and defensive rebounding would be a great benefit for the Hawks. Based off of his shooting percentage, he is a true shooter. He has good quickness for a man of his size and he is very good timing. No matter who Clarke is up against, he gets the job done. He was able to show that in the NCAA tournament especially against Baylor where he had 5 blocks and also had 36 points. Clarke gets it done on both the offensive and defensive side.

The only two things to be concerned with Clarke is that he doesn’t have a big wingspan and does not shoot the three ball that well. As stated earlier he didn’t shoot the three ball well last season for Gonzaga. He also struggled some shooting the three during his time at San Jose State. He also struggles some at the free throw line, as he did shoot 69.4 percent from the line. However, career wise he only shot 61.8 percent from the line. As for his wingspan, it does give him a disadvantage in some cases. However, he makes up for it by being able to use size and versatility.

Clarke is projected to be a mid to late first round pick. If he is available at number 10 for the Hawks, it would definitely be worth it for the Hawks to take him. He would make an immediate impact because he is a guy that can play right away. He would work well with Collins and gives the Hawks some more options at forward.

 

By: Stewart Zwald  @SDZwald041599

Atlanta Hawks Draft Profile: Nassir Little

http://www.tarheelblog.com

Entering the 2019 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks will have the 8th pick and 10th pick in the draft. One player that could be available at 8 is Nassir Little out of North Carolina. Little is a 6’6 225 pound strong forward. He only played one season at North Carolina, but played very well for the Tar Heels. During his time at North Carolina, Little averaged 9.8 points and played 18.2 minutes per game which is a little bit more than what most people expected him to do in his freshman season. He finished the season shooting 48 percent from the floor.

Little brings a lot to the table that the Hawks should like a lot. He does a good job of getting into the passing lanes and forcing turnovers, he is very active on perimeter defense, he finishes well and does a good job of fighting through contact to get to the basket, and he is a very athletic rebounder. Little knows how to use body well and can go up to get those rebounds against some of the bigger guys. Little has already been compared to Kawhi Leonard just based off of how he plays. He would definitely be a good fit for the Hawks and someone that can help bring a lot of energy to this young team.

However, there are two things to be a bit concerned about with Little. He can be inconsistent which was something that he showed some during his freshman year. If you look at his numbers last season especially in the NCAA tournament, you would see that against Washington he put up 20 points and shot the ball well, but against Auburn he struggled to get anything going. Now granted that Auburn did play well and won by 17, Little only shot 28 percent compared to the 72 percent against Washington. He struggled with the three ball last season. He only shot 28 percent from behind the arc. Despite these two things, he still is a solid player that the Hawks could get at number 8 in the draft.

 

By: Stewart Zwald  @SDZwald041599

What Should The Hawks Do On Draft Night?

The draft lottery didn’t go exactly how most Hawks fans wanted. They, along with all of the other teams in the lottery, were hoping to get the number 1 pick so they can draft Zion Williamson. The majority of the teams were disappointed as only one team could win the lottery and get the number 1 pick; That team was the New Orleans Pelicans. The Hawks drew the 8th pick and the 10th pick, the 10th coming from the Dallas trade last year. According to the latest ESPN mock draft, the Hawks are likely to draft Cam Reddish at number 8 and Jaxson Hayes at number 10. If that pans out, this draft would be really helpful for Atlanta’s future. The Hawks are in need of two positions. We need a guard/forward, and a center. Reddish and Hayes would fit those roles perfectly. The draft will be held on Thursday, June 20.

Cam Reddish is a 6’8″ shooting guard/small forward from Duke University. Reddish is a spot up sharp shooter. It may seem like he struggled this past year, but that is because he was the third option on a Duke team led by Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. Cam averaged 13.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. His numbers would’ve been a lot better had he been the number one option on a different team. Reddish is also a pretty good defender, and Atlanta needs a lot of help on defense. He averaged 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. Cam could be used kind of like Klay Thompson is for the Warriors. He could run around with the help of screens looking for an opportunity to catch and shoot. He could be lethal with Trae Young passing him the ball for three.

Jaxson Hayes is a 6’11” center from Texas. Hayes is probably the best center in the entire draft. He is a very good rim protector, averaging 2.2 blocks per game. He’s not a great scorer only averaging 10 points a game, but he shot at a very high percentage, 72.8%. If he gets the ball around the rim, he is very difficult to stop. He’s a great finisher around the basket. Hayes has good footwork in the post and has a nice touch on his jump hook. Hayes is very athletic and can run the floor very well. His is also a great jumper. He and Trae can run the pick and roll very effectively. Hayes and Collins would make for a very athletic and exciting front court.

An alternative option for our 10th pick could be the Hawks drafting Bol Bol, the 7’2″ center from Oregon. Atlanta would be taking a huge risk with this due to Bol just recently having foot surgery. The upside to Bol is too good to pass up though. He played nine games this past season and averaged 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. The most shocking part of his game is his three point shooting ability. He shot 52% from three in those nine games. That is insane, especially for someone who is over 7 feet tall. With such a long frame and a 7’8″ wingspan, Bol is a great shot blocker. He averaged 2.7 blocks per game. The only issue with Bol is his size. Like his father, Bol is really skinny. If he can get to the NBA and gain just a little muscle, he could be unstoppable. His style of play would be perfect for the Hawks. He could space out the floor so much more and let Trae create plays. He can run the pick and roll and the pick and pop effectively. He would give Collins more room down low to work. If Bol gets cleared by doctors, the Hawks could take a shot at him. Travis Schlenk will make the right decision.

Clark, Dave, and Cincinnati Enquirer. “Jaxson Hayes: NBA Mock Drafts Project Former Moeller Star as Lottery Pick with Order Set.” Amp.cincinnati.com, The Enquirer, 15 May 2019, amp.cincinnati.com/amp/3676004002?usqp=mq331AQCKAE=.

Smith, Brendan. “2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Cam Reddish.” DMV Sports Network, DMV Sports Network, 5 May 2019, http://www.dmvsportsnetwork.com/2019-nba-draft-scouting-report-cam-reddish/amp/?usqp=mq331AQCKAE=.

Boone, Kyle. “How Season-Ending Injury to Projected Lottery Pick Bol Bol Affects Oregon, Pac-12.” CBSSports.com, 4 Jan. 2019, http://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/how-season-ending-injury-to-projected-lottery-pick-bol-bol-affects-oregon-pac-12/.

Zion Williamson

Where’s The Best Landing Spot for Zion Williamson? The Atlanta Hawks

Zion Williamson
Photo Courtesy: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Zion Williamson, the 6’7″ forward from Duke, is one the NBA’s most exciting prospects ever. He led Duke to the elite eight in the NCAA tournament after an incredible season averaging 22.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game on 68% shooting. Lottery teams are doing whatever it takes to even have a chance at landing Zion.

ESPN came out with their top destinations for Zion Williamson and even they had Atlanta as the best option. Zion fits in perfectly with our system. After the addition of Trae Young, Atlanta was number 1 in the entire NBA in pace. A lot of Zion’s game also relies on his speed in transition. When in transition, Williamson is nearly unstoppable with how fast and strong he his at his size. The Hawks would almost undoubtedly lead the league in pace again with Zion running the floor.

Atlanta would be the new “Lob City” if they can acquire Zion Williamson. Defenses wouldn’t know what to do against the pick and roll between Trae and Zion. This past season, defenses double teamed Young almost every possession. With Zion on the court, they definitely can’t do that. Trae’s magnificent court vision would allow him to easily find Zion for an easy basket if they continue to double him. Teams might even be too concerned about Zion and double team him, leaving Trae wide open to score. The attention that Williamson would draw could lead defenses away from John Collins as well. Collins could sit in the corner and wait for the pass after proving he could consistently knock down threes last season, or he could cut and Trae could lob it up for an easy alley-oop. Zion would open up the floor for everyone. Williamson could also really improve his off ball scoring and his shooting with Atlanta. With Trae driving and kicking, Zion could potentially turn into a pretty good long range shooter just like John Collins did.

With as big of a name Zion Williamson has, he could also draw the attention of other big name stars. Players would love to play with Trae and Zion in Atlanta. The NBA would benefit from this as well. The city of Atlanta is one of the biggest television markets in the country. They could air Hawks games on ESPN or TNT and get insane amounts of views because people would want to watch Zion and Trae. Atlanta would certainly live up to it’s nickname of “Hotlanta.”

The Hawks would have their foundation for at least the next ten years. We would be contenders as soon as Zion gets here. In a few years, we could definitely have a title run. Atlanta would have the tools to build a dynasty. The Hawks could be the next Chicago Bulls, the next San Antonio Spurs, or the next Golden State Warriors. If the Atlanta Hawks could somehow land the number one pick and get Zion Williamson, the league better be prepared because the Atlanta Hawks are up next.

ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, http://www.espn.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats/_/sort/paceFactor.

“Zion Williamson College Stats | College Basketball at Sports.” Reference.com, http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/zion-williamson-1.html.

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Trae Young

The future and the present: Trae Young and his role in Atlanta

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(Via Trae Young’s Twitter

Welcome to Atlanta Trae Young… now take the keys to the franchise.

In reality, this is how it is. The Hawks have put all their trust in 19-year-old former Oklahoma star Trae Young.

Atlanta traded the third overall pick in the 2018 draft to the Dallas Mavaricks, which they then decided to draft Luka Doncic, from Real Madrid. The Hawks also received a 2019 top-five protected first round pick.

This moved shocked a lot of people around the league. Leaving some Hawks fans in disbelief, while others were optimistic.

A few weeks later, the Hawks decided to move on from guard Dennis Schröder, who was at one-point looked at as the point guard of the future. But when Young joined the Hawks it was obvious that they had a change of plans.

Travis Schlenk, Atlanta Hawks General Manager, has always showed a lot a faith in Young and his ability and there was always a feeling that Schlenk would like to have Young on the Hawks.

While in rebuild mode a team needs to find that one guy that they can build around and find pieces that compliment that player. In their second year in the rebuild process  Atlanta might have just found their main guy in Young and some of the pieces are already aligned.

Young has the potential to be a star in the NBA because of popularity alone.

Young is already a very popular player because of his dominance in college and his exciting play-style. This can be a good and also a bad thing for a rookie because they are expected to live up to the hype immediately.

Having a lot of fans comes with even more haters.

The Hawks participated in the Utah Summer League, which they played three games. Young didn’t shoot well in any of those games only knocking down 3-24 from behind the 3-point line and it was heard in the media. Some of “NBA Twitter”  has already began to bash the young guard after a short preview of what he was about.

Before Young entered the league, there was already a concern from people because of his size and how he matches up against other NBA point guards. However, Young continued to show the confidence and shot the ball with no hesitation, also showing a high level of playmaking ability in the Las Vegas Summer League finishing the summer with solid play averaging 17 points per game and 6.8 assists.

(House of Highlights via Youtube)

Young’s name is already well known by NBA stars around the league and they seem to like what they see from Young. He has been seen working out with some of the best around the league such as, Houston Rockets stars James Harden, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

The Denver Nuggets rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. also jumped and defended Young after a slow start telling fans to “keep that same energy,” which has turned into Young’s new slogan.

Young’s popularity has already had an effect on the Hawks. After Young started to light it up in Las Vegas, the hawks began receiving more coverage during the Summer League than they have in the regular season in a very long time.

Last year, the Hawks weren’t able to even notch one national televise game, however, this year Atlanta will be on national television for their first game on the season when they go against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. Unfortunately this will be the Hawks only national game.

The skill set is definitely there with Young but is he talented and determined enough to get past being an undersized guard?

The three ball is quickly becoming the most effective way of scoring in the NBA and Young can shoot with some of the best shooters in the league. But Young did show signs of inconsistent shooting at the college level at some points, however, he was asked to shoot the ball a lot and was put in situations where he had to make a big play, which led to bad shots. Hopefully in the NBA he will be able to become more comfortable and able to take good shots on a consistent basis.

Young’s ability to shoot was what stood out on the draft board. However, his playmaking ability is possibly his best trait and it was definitely on display in the summer league.

Young playmaking ability is comparable to the legendary Steve Nash and with the added skill to shoot from anywhere on the court, Young will cause some problems for opponents if he is able to put it all together.

(NBA via Youtube)

He will have to continue to work on his handle to create more space against taller opponents so he is able to get a shot off. A lot of times during the summer league, Young made a good move, however the a gap wasn’t there and his attempt to the basket was either rejected or was too difficult of a shot for it to fall in.

Defense will be a concern for Young, however, if Young is able to just show effort on that end then it wont be a huge problem.

Their is definitely a lot of pressure on Young because of the hype that has surrounded him this past year. And after the Schröder trade more pressure was added.

Young is going to get the chance to shine now and he is going to be looked at as the face of the Hawks. Fans will expect production fast. However, this isn’t fair for the rookie guard. It will take time for him to develop and find his way in the big leagues and fans will need to be patient with the process.

With Schröder gone Young will have the freedom in his first year to get a lot of experience running a team in the NBA.

Let’s face it, the Hawks aren’t expected to compete this year, so Young is going to be able to make mistakes, which he will because that’s what rookies do. However, this opportunity will be very good for him.

Young is going to be able to lead this team and become comfortable playing with some of the core guys such as John Collins, Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore.

The Hawks have also went out and brought in veteran guys that will help the rookie such as, Vince Carter and Jeremy Lin.

Their will be plenty of opportunities for him to learn and continue to perfect his craft and prove the doubters wrong.

Daric Clemens | @DClemens_