The Hawks lost a tiebreaker to the Knicks and will pick 20th in the 2021 NBA Draft. That sounds fair to me because the Hawks greatly outmatched the Knicks in the playoffs and advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. This will be the first time in what feels like forever that the Hawks are out of the lottery; the last time being when they picked John Collins 19th overall in the 2017 Draft. This is a big draft for a team that has an opportunity to capitalize on a ton of playoff success with a young core. Travis Schlenk has nailed every first-round pick of this rebuild, so hopefully, that trend continues now that the Hawks will not be in the lottery anymore.
Round 1, Pick 20 — PG Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
NBADraft.net has my favorite player in all of college basketball falling to the 20th pick in one of their recent mock drafts, and I think he’s a picture perfect pick for the Hawks outside of the lottery. While I don’t think backup point guard is the biggest need for Atlanta, if Dosunmu is available for Atlanta at 20, this is an easy “best player available” scenario. Dosunmu led one of my favorite teams in college basketball last season in Illinois, posting a ridiculous 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while shooting 49% from the floor and 39% from 3. With great size at 6’5 and 200 pounds, he’s closer to a finished product at 21 years old — exactly what the Hawks need off the bench. He isn’t an elite defender, but he has some chops and good size to work with. A terrific rebounding, shooting, and efficient point guard off the bench would massively benefit Trae Young and the Hawks as a whole.
Round 2, Pick 48 — F Herb Jones, Alabama
I was tempted to pick up sharpshooting Atlanta native M.J. Walker out of Florida State here, but Herb Jones seems like a perfect fit for the Hawks. Jones is massive for a small forward at 6’8 and 210 pounds and has the athleticism to match. A strong defender with quickness and open court speed, Jones is a guy you can assign to guard almost any position on the floor. He is a bit older at 22 years old, but he is the type of player that can instantly help out a contending team by providing quality defense off the bench. The fact that he’s a good passer and rebounder is just icing on the cake. Jones only shot 35% from 3 in 2020-2021, but if he can develop an efficient shot off the bench, he will become an extremely valuable 3-and-D piece for the Hawks.