Like clockwork, the Hawks had more miserable luck in the draft. They had the fourth-best odds of landing the top pick and over a 50% chance of selecting in the top four, but they ended up with the sixth pick — a disappointing end to what was a forgetful 2019-2020 campaign.
By finishing outside the top three picks, the Hawks can kiss their chances goodbye of bringing in Lamelo Ball or Anthony Edwards — two players that seemed like potential running mates for Trae Young in the backcourt, one of the Hawks most glaring needs. However, there’s always the opportunity for Atlanta to trade up if they are sold on one of those top prospects. This is a draft class that a lot of scouts have varying opinions on, which could lead to a lot of movement inside the top ten.
For now, however, we will focus on the guys that could be available for the Hawks with the sixth pick.
Wiseman cut his college career short, leaving Memphis after the NCAA held up his 12 game suspension. He only played in three games for the Tigers, but he averaged nearly 20 points, over ten rebounds, and three blocks per contest. He’s your prototypical rim-running big man and looks to have the skill to potentially develop an outside jumper. If that happens, Wiseman will wreak havoc on the rest of the NBA.
Position: Power Forward
There’s very little chance that both Wiseman and Toppin fall to the Hawks, I’d actually bet that both of them are gone before the sixth pick, but one of them could be available for Atlanta. Toppin has a lot of John Collins in his game — a strong and bouncy power forward — but he’s a bit more developed than Collins coming out of college. He has a tremendous low-post game and shot 41.7% from three-point range in his two years at Dayton.
Position: Point Guard
Hayes is a 6’5″ point guard with a 6’8″ wingspan — fantastic size for the position. The Hawks are in desperate need for a backup point guard, and Hayes’ size and ability to shoot the rock should allow him to be on the floor at the same time as Young without the Hawks giving up too much defensively.
Position: Small Forward
Avdija is probably the most intriguing international player in the draft, giving off Luka Doncic vibes with his skill set. Of course, there’s only one Luka Doncic, and most European players flop, but in an era of position-less basketball, Avdija is deserving of looks inside the top five. At 6’9″ he can play power forward, but possesses the ball-handling skills of a point guard and could become a second playmaker for the Hawks, allowing Trae Young to play off-ball at times.
Position: Power Forward/Center
Okongwu is a physical specimen that overpowered opponents as a freshman in college. He’s an elite rim protector, but he’s extremely raw as an offensive prospect, often just bullying his way to the basket. There’s a lot to work with, though, and his ability as a defensive force and a rebounder give him a high floor.
Position: Point Guard
School: Iowa State
Like Hayes, Halliburton is a 6’5″ point guard with a long wingspan. He’s an elite facilitator, averaging 7.1 dimes last season for Iowa State, and he’s a fantastic three-point shooter, shooting at a 42.6% clip on 4.2 attempts per game over his two seasons in college.
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Okoro is a Powder Springs native, coming out of McEachern high school. He spent one year at Auburn, showcasing tremendous explosiveness and an ability to finish around the rim, which led to a 60.7 2-PT FG%. But if he wants to reach his full potential at the NBA level, he will have to become a threat from outside the arc. He only shot 28.6% from three-point range last year.
Position: Shooting Guard
School: Florida State
Vassell is a high-flying wing that proved to be a sniper last year for the Seminoles, shooting 41.5% from three on 3.5 attempts per game. He doesn’t just thrive in catch and shoot opportunities, either. Vassell can create opportunities for himself off the dribble and his jumper is automatic. Even when he’s not open, he’s open.