Hawks add size in latest ESPN Mock Draft

Atlanta Hawks Deandre hunter

For a draft class that apparently doesn’t have a consensus top prospect, mock draft experts across every outlet seem to all believe Alex Sarr will be the #1 overall pick to the Hawks if they keep it. That sounds like a consensus to me, and Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo for ESPN are the latest to predict the French big man will land in Atlanta. However, they admit nobody is quite sure what the Hawks are thinking.

1. Atlanta Hawks

Alex Sarr, PF/C, Perth (Australia) | Age: 19.0

At this stage, NBA executives don’t have a firm grasp of what the Hawks might ultimately do, as word coming out of their front office is they are still at a very early stage of decision-making and have plenty of work to do in gathering information and finding alignment. Many around the league expect the Hawks to select Sarr with the top pick, as there are compelling reasons to consider him the best prospect in this class with his elite physical tools, mobility, defensive versatility, finishing ability and potential as a perimeter shooter. He’d fit in nicely in a frontcourt alongside the likes of Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu, and should develop into a formidable rim-protector who can also cover ground on the perimeter, which is attractive in minimizing the defensive shortcomings of Trae Young.

We’d expect Fields and the Hawks front office to consider other options here as well, including Risacher, Donovan Clingan and trade opportunities. — Givony

The Hawks have a pretty stout duo at center in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, but most expect one of them to be dealt this offseason, so they shouldn’t have an effect on who the Hawks take with the first overall pick.

The best way to describe Alex Sarr right now is a poor man’s Victor Wembanyama. The two French centers are extremely skilled for their size that can dominate the game on the defensive end of the court. However, Wembanyama entered the league and was arguably the best rim protector in the game as a rookie. Nobody should expect that from Sarr, who is much smaller than his fellow countryman. Wembanyama was also infinitely more skilled on the offensive end entering the draft.

The Hawks need to place a heavy emphasis on defense this offseason, which makes a prospect like Sarr very intriguing because of his ability to defend around the rim and out on the perimeter. However, if you’re drafting him first overall, you’re betting on him to develop into a threat offensively, particularly with his jump shot.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire



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