It is almost 2019, and we now have a good idea not only of what spots the Hawks may draft at but a general sense of the prospects as well. The college season is a third of the way complete as teams prepare for conference play. At the moment, the Hawks have five picks and have the most exceptional draft capital of any organization. It may be hard to get the roster over the salary cap minimum, so there is a chance some of these picks are packaged up together or with expiring deals to gain a better position, or that the team opts to draft and stash some players. Nevertheless, for the simplicity of this article, we will assume they draft at all five of these spots.
5th Overall: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
Bol Bol is the son of the late Manute Bol, the tallest player to play in the NBA at 7’7″. The younger Bol is a physical specimen himself, at 7’2″. However, he can move up and down the court like a guard. For this reason, he was a very hyped up incoming freshman but has still managed to exceed expectations. Bol will need to put on some more weight, after all, he is just 19-years old. But his game is so well rounded that he should be a force in the NBA. The Oregon big man asserted himself from day one and has immediately become one of the top players in college hoops, averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. What is even more impressive is his 2.7 blocks per game and his 52% 3-point shooting. A combination of Collins and Bol down low could produce a ridiculous twin towers situation for opponents while still creating great spacing for Trae Young. Bol Bol plays a lot like Joel Embiid. Let’s roll the tape:
11th Overall (Dallas Pick), Rui Hachimura, SF/PG, Gonzaga
Rui Hachimura has been on the radar for a while now, but he opted to return to Gonzaga for his Junior season. He is having a breakout campaign with the Bulldogs and has the makings of a lottery pick in this year’s draft. His positioning on mock drafts widely varies but it seems reasonable he will be available here. Some may argue that he is a tweener at the 3/4 or that his outside shooting is not good enough. Well, he does not shoot many from the outside but has come a long way. He is competitive and uses his elite inside and mid-range ability to score. The Japanese sensation is a gamer and could make the Hawks think long and hard about potentially moving Taurean Prince for more draft assets in the future.
35th Overall, Moses Brown, C, UCLA
You will not see UCLA big man Moses Brown featured on many mock drafts. He is probably the most underrated prospect in the country right now, and there is a solid chance he does not come out until 2020.
Measuring in at 7’1″, Moses Brown has length you cannot teach, toting a 7’4″ wingspan and a 9’2 standing reach. On top of that, the kid can really move up and down the court given his size and is already dominating the boards as a freshman. He is currently still pretty skinny and growing into his frame, but with time he should be able to do the same in the NBA once he fills out. His instincts as a shot-blocker are second to none, blocking a shot in every game played and averaging 2.6 a game. He even had an eight-block game earlier in the season. On top of this, he rarely gets in foul trouble and plays a super efficient brand of basketball.
His scoring has been inconsistent, but he has gotten boards in every game he has played. Brown is old school, he stays in the paint and uses post moves and short face-up shots to score. He has had some huge games, but also had a disappearing act in the team’s matchup against UNC. His performance in conference play will determine whether he is ready to make the jump to the league.
Here’s a glance of Brown:
45th Overall (Charlotte), Sagaba Konate, C, West Virginia
Yea, there are a lot of big men on this mock. However, I find that there are genuinely some diamonds in the rough here in this draft class, and as I previously mentioned, the Hawks likely will not draft five players anyways. Alex Len, Dewayne Dedmon, and Miles Plumlee are not long-term pieces. In Konate, you have a great defender off the bench who can stretch the floor, and we all know how valuable that can be. Though undersized for a center at 6’8″, Konate is a force on the boards. Not only that, he is one one of the best shot blockers I have ever seen, albeit at the college level. He just added the three ball to his arsenal in his Junior season but has hit at a 39.1% rate. Konate has the makings of an elite role player with room for more, which is all you can ask for at the 45th overall pick. Unfortunately, he is set to miss the next 2-4 weeks sidelined with an injury.
51st Overall (Lakers), Lagerald Vick, SG, Kansas
As far as college players go, Vick has been one of the finest in the country this season. The four-year player is putting things together at Kansas in his Senior season under Bill Self. However, there have been some inconsistencies. In the team’s big season opener against Michigan State, Vick only contributed two points. He scored none against Wofford after coming off the bench due to showing up to shootaround late. He had just five against New Mexico State. However, he has had four games with 25 points or more this season. What Vick brings to the Hawks is experience for a rookie and elite 3-point shooting. He has shot 50% on the dot this season from beyond the arc, and that’s on nearly seven attempts a game. You can never have enough shooters.