Most fans are busy anticipating who the third overall pick will be, but do not forget about the gift of a draft pick the Hawks got back for Adreian Payne. This is an important pick for the team and there are some talented names that should be left on the board. Let’s take a look at them:
(Jontay Porter was excluded from this list due to reports that he is leaning towards returning to school. Lonnie Walker, Zhaire Smith, and Robert Williams were omitted because they should be off the board but are fall candidates the Hawks should not think twice about.)
When picking in a spot like 19th overall, you may as well draft for potential. There will be three players who could come off the board here that we did not get to see play college ball, so it is harder to evaluate them. The first of which is Anfernee Simons from IMG Academy. When you are named after Anfernee Hardaway, you are almost destined to be an NBA star. Simons is just about to turn 19 years old and decided to do a year of postgraduate school. If he had entered college, 247sports.com had him ranked as the top combo guard in his recruiting class. He was planning on attending Lousiville but backed out of that deal for obvious reasons. The potential is obviously there, so the Hawks will definitely give Simons a look. Simons is a great scorer, but it looks like he will have to become a better passer to become a true combo guard. Regardless, he could be a steal here.
Musa is a 19-year old scoring machine from Europe. His shooting will likely translate to the NBA. The questions will surround his defense and rebounding ability. Nevertheless, Musa is an intriguing pick here. Travis Schlenk made it sound like he wanted an all-out offensive attack last season, but he just hired a defensive minded coach. So who knows. Keep an eye on Musa who is another wild card pick.
Let’s hope that Mitchell Robinson is better at basketball than he is at sticking with a decision. Robinson originally committed to Texas A&M, committed to going to Western Kentucky, showed up on campus there, and then decided to skip town. Robinson then decided it was in his best interest to just prepare for the Draft. He also withdrew himself from the Combine, so he wants to go in as a complete unknown. What do we know? Robinson is a true 7-footer who seems pretty athletic but needs a bit more bulk. 19 may be a stretch for Robinson, but he is at least enticing. Teams may be wary of what happened last year.
Brunson was the best player in college basketball last season, so if a team drafts them, they are living on a prayer that his game can translate to some extent of that in the NBA. It seems as if Brunson is super underrated coming into this draft, and there has been tension between the Hawks and Dennis Schroder. At the very least Brunson should be a really good backup point guard in the league due to his floor general abilities. He could be worth taking a shot on at 19.
Brunson’s teammate makes the list as well. DiVincenzo has garnered interest from the Hawks during this draft process, and for good reason. His heroics in the national championship game were truly something special, and he was a great player for the best team in the country all season long. Donte plays a balanced game and his incredible athleticism was put on display at the NBA Combine. Donte can shoot lights out. If you need more convincing, roll the tape: