The Hawks have an exciting young core of talent. A.J. Griffin shot nearly 50/40/90 as a 19-year-old; Jalen Johnson’s versatility projects well in today’s NBA, and I believe with a bit of seasoning, Onyeka Okongwu could provide close to what Bam Adebayo does for the Heat.
From this year’s draft, the Hawks brought in Kobe Bufkin and Mouhamed Gueye. The former had a rough Summer League experience, given his first-round status, but the latter made some noise in Las Vegas.
John Hollinger of The Athletic included the power forward in his list of Summer League standouts. Gueye even drew praise from Quin Snyder and Hawks superstar Trae Young for his efforts.
The Washington State product was a double-double machine in college and averaged a respectable 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in four games on 44.8% shooting from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc.
Obviously, Bufkin will garner most of the attention, but Gueye keeps turning heads. He’s a 6-foot-11 big man with a 7-foot-3 wingspan that can impact the game in a variety of ways on both ends of the court.
One of the more unnoticed aspects of his game is his ability to get boards on the offensive end, averaging nearly 3.5 per contest in college. If you can generate second-chance points for a club, you’ll garner playing time. He averaged 2.5 offensive rebounds during the Summer League, which is notable.
He’s a fluid athlete that can run the floor and handle the ball. He’s no facilitator like Jalen Johnson, but he’s certainly not a ball-stopper like John Collins and Clint Capela. Though he didn’t shoot efficiently from deep, he’s got a smooth jump shot and is improving from three-point land.
It would be shocking if Gueye made an impact this season because the Hawks are a playoff-caliber team with high hopes and a deep roster. More than anything, it’s a lottery ticket that could turn into a real solid contributor in the future.
Photographer: Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire