Frank Kaminsky is a 7 foot big man out of the University of Wisconsin. In 2015, the senior Center collected about every individual award around college basketball. He was the John R. Wooden winner, which is annually given out to the best individual college basketball player. He also led Wisconsin to a huge victory over Kentucky which gave them birth to the Championship game (where they unfortunately lost to Duke). Kaminsky will be a little bit of a tweener in the NBA. He has the size to play the Center position, but his skill set and agility might be better suited for the Power Forward position in the NBA. Many mock drafts and projections have Kaminsky going as a lottery pick, but he very well could slide to the Hawks. I am very high on his teammate, Sam Dekker, and it just so happens I am very fond of Kaminsky as well.
Kaminsky absolutely dominated the college basketball game in his senior season. He scored 18.8 points per game while shooting 55% from the floor and almost 42% from behind the arc. To go along with his brilliant scoring, Kaminsky also averaged 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game. For a 7 footer, Kaminsky has a very unique skill set. He has a beautiful shot that is almost unimaginable for someone 7 feet tall, but he is also a very agile big man. Kaminsky can create turnovers, block shots on defense and get out and run in transition. His senior year at Wisconsin was nothing short of spectacular. However, it was not always this way for Kaminsky.
His freshman year, Kaminsky averaged just 7.7 minutes and 1.8 points per game. This was followed up by a sophomore season, in which he only averaged 10.3 minutes and 4.2 points per game. It was not until Kaminsky’s junior year at Wisconsin, that he showed the basketball world what he was capable of. He averaged 27.2 minutes, 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds on his way to the Big Ten Basketball Player of the Year Award. His vast improvement show the signs of a resilient person with a tremendous work ethic. Both are great signs that Kaminsky and the Hawks could be a perfect fit.
There is one other thing that just might make the Hawks and Frank Kaminsky a match made in heaven. The Hawks rely heavily on everybody on the floor being able to shoot. In order for the Hawks system to be the most efficient, it is imperative for everybody on the floor to be a threat with their shot. Kaminsky is a guy who could come in and play the center position for the Hawks and spread the floor to perfection. His 42% shooting from behind the arc for a 7 footer is nothing short of unbelievable. The Hawks have shown that they want a big man who can shoot the rock. They let Pero Antic bumble around for two seasons shooting hopeless threes. Just imagine if they were to find a big man who was actually capable of shooting those shots. Kaminsky could be that guy, and teams would actually have to respect his shooting ability on the perimeter.
The Hawks have a huge decision to make with the number 15 pick in this year’s draft. There will be lots of talented players for the Hawks to choose from when they are on the clock, and I think it would be best for them to stick with a seasoned player who can step in the rotation immediately. If available, Kaminsky could be that guy, and I think the Hawks would be smart to take him.