Grading the Hawks Draft Picks


John Collins 

Collins is a guy we have had our eye on for quite a while. The All-ACC power forward was the most efficient player in all of college basketball. At 6′ 10″ he has an NBA ready body with the athleticism to play above the rim. He is not the typical stretch-four that are becoming increasingly popular in today’s NBA. Instead, he is more comfortable on the block where he can make defenders look silly with a plethora of post moves. The jump shot definitely needs some work though. It does not look bad on release, but the numbers were not pretty in college. In his two seasons at Wake Forest, Collins only shot a hair over 60% from the free throw line and never attempted a three-point shot. However, he does posses a decent little mid-range game and has the height to shoot over defenders.

 Defensively, Collins can bring it as well. He averaged 1.6 blocks per game in his sophomore season, and keep in mind that was in just 26.6 minutes per game. He also showed a pretty good knack for disrupting passing lanes for a big guy. His height, length and athleticism make him tough to score on, and he should be able to live up to the high expectations Coach Budenholzer has for his players.

 Grade: A+

This was a terrific pick for the Hawks. Many people expected Atlanta to possibly make a move up in this loaded draft, but when the guy you want just falls to you anyway it works out even better. Collins is a guy the Hawks have had their eye on from the beginning of the draft process. You cannot help but wonder if that had something to do with the whole Mike Budenholzer/Tim Duncan/ Wake Forest connection. Collins plays a lot like Duncan too, being a true power forward that lives around the block. I was honestly shocked he fell all the way to the 19th pick.

With Paul Millsap likely finding another home in free agency, Atlanta immediately replaces him with a player who has all-star potential. They also get thirteen years younger at the position, which is necessary given their young core and a rebuild looming. Collins averaged 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just 26.6 minutes per game in the best conference by a mile in NCAA basketball. This guy is NBA ready and should do some great things in his rookie season.

Tyler Dorsey

Atlanta went out west to snag their second selection with the 41st pick. Dorsey played two years at Oregon, leading the Ducks to the elite eight and eventually the Final Four in his sophomore season. He became known as a player who made big shots in big time situations, and led the NCAA tournament in scoring last season with 23.8 points per game.

There is no doubt Dorsey can stroke it. He shot 40.6% from behind the arc in his freshman season and upped that to 42.3% last season. The even more impressive thing about that stat is that most of those threes are not coming off spot up looks. Dorsey is extremely effective in shooting off the dribble and creating his own shots. The Hawks back up point guards were horrendous last year, but Dorsey should immediately provide an upgrade at the position.

The problem with Dorsey lies outside of his scoring potential. He will be a liability on defense coming into the league and does not exactly have the skill as a passer you would like to see out of a point guard. Dorsey could blossom into a dangerous sixth-man, but it is hard to see him being much more than that if he cannot improve in those two areas.

Grade: B

 Dorsey’s scoring ability is enough to keep him in the NBA for a long time, and in the second round that is usually all you can ask for. But this year’s draft is a little different, as it is absolutely loaded with talent. The Hawks originally had the 31st pick in the draft before they swapped second-rounders with Charlotte in the Dwight Howard trade. Atlanta could have found a potential starter with that pick in this draft. There were a lot of great players, like Jordan Bell, that went in that 31-40 range who could have great NBA careers.

There were even people after Dorsey that were taken that I liked a little better. Sindarious Thornwell could have been a nice two way player. The Hawks probably could have done a bit better in this year’s second round, but Dorsey is a solid pick that should provide a boost in offense on a team that is going to be struggling to find it consistently.

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