The Atlanta Hawks selected Duke Forward Jalen Johnson with the 20th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
At 6’9” 220 lbs, Johnson brings size and athleticism to an already loaded wing group in Atlanta. As a former five star recruit, he certainly possesses one of the highest ceilings in the draft, albeit with one of the lowest floors.
After playing just 13 games for a struggling Duke team, Johnson elected to sit out the remainder of the season to prepare for the draft in what was an extremely controversial decision. However, in a year that was anything but normal, one can hardly blame Johnson for wanting to protect himself from injury as he was considered a lock for the first round.
As a player who can dribble, pass, and shoot at a high level, Jalen Johnson fits exactly what Travis Schlenk looks for in prospects. While not an overly proficient half court player, he can provide the transition playmaking the Hawks can take advantage of as he will immediately be one of the better athletes on the roster.
Only time will tell if this is yet another gem found late in the first for Travis Schlenk, but until then, Hawks fans can look forward to his debut in Summer League in less than two weeks.