John Collins out of Wake Forest would be a great pick for the Atlanta Hawks if he is on the board. If the team feels that Paul Millsap may walk, he could be a guy worth trading up for. Though the Hawks should take the best player available, it would be ideal for the team to select a big man given the age of both Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard. While both are still effective players, the team could use a young big man who can develop alongside the young trio of Dennis Schroder, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Taurean Prince.
Collins has been battle tested against the best competition in the nation during ACC play, and was the best player on their tournament team this past March. He has the size needed to play in this league at 6’10”, 230 pounds, and uses this to his advantage against smaller power forwards. Though he is no 3-point shooter, Collins has a solid mid-range game, and uses his crazy athleticism to finish around the hoop.
As a sophomore for the Demon Deacons, he averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in just 26.6 minutes. He had the highest PER in all of college. This type of efficiency would have Mike Budenholzer salivating, and could make life after Paul Millsap bearable for Hawks fans. This kid was a great college player and has the tools to have it translate over to the NBA. He is perhaps the most underrated prospect in this Draft.
Check out his dominant performance from February against Duke:
The Hawks can also use Collins in small ball lineups, something that Coach Bud has flirted with in the past. The future is cloudy for the Hawks, but with multiple picks stockpiled over the next two seasons, a rebuild featuring Collins, Prince, Hardaway, and Schroder would be really fun to watch.