Domantis Sabonis was a projected early-first round draft pick by several earlier mocks, but the hype on him has quieted as we approach the draft. It currently looks like he could go anywhere from the early-teens all the way to the 20’s . Atlanta has an outside shot of grabbing Sabonis, and if he falls there is no reason they should pass on this Lithuanian big man. Sabonis’ father, Arvydas Sabonis, is in the NBA Hall of Fame and Domantis could follow in his foot steps. Domantis spent two years with Gonzaga and really burst onto the season his sophomore year where he averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds. Gonzaga does not play a lot of elite competition over the regular season, however Sabonis’ game only got better during the tournament. He recorded double-doubles in all three tournament games an averaged nearly 20 points. He was the catalyst for a Gonzaga team that surprised a lot of people in March. Sabonis also spent time as a member of the Lithuania national team that won silver at EuroBasket 2015.
Atlanta’s deficiencies on the board are well-documented. While the Hawks have a great chance at locking up Al Horford this offseason, they still need to get bigger and younger in their frontline. Sabonis could slowly work is way into the rotation and immediately be an impact defender and rebounder. Sabonis already features a polished low-post game and even can stretch the floor with a developing mid-range game that continues to improve. He already has the tools to contribute in the NBA as a rebounder and low-post scorer, but I see him developing an even better offensive game that might even include a decent three-point shot to help stretch the floor. Sabonis was known as Gonzaga as a high effort player. He is always giving 100% and diving for every loose ball. He’s an NBA ready player with a relatively high ceiling and hopefully he will be available when the Hawks pick at #21.