Hawks

Opinion: Hawks should turn to Bol Bol, Porter Jr. with lottery picks

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The Hawks were not the luckiest team in Tuesday night’s Draft Lottery. Regardless, the team still came away with two lottery picks, albeit later than many fans and the organization were hoping. It is an excellent opportunity to add to the Hawks’ tantalizing young core, and there are a couple of guys who catch my eye in particular.

My favorite prospect that I think could be there for Atlanta around this range is Bol Bol. The son of NBA legend Manute Bol, the former Oregon center got off to an electric start to his freshman season. The big man asserted himself from day one and immediately became one of the top players in college hoops, averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. What is even more impressive is his 2.7 blocks per game and his 52% 3-point shooting. Unfortunately, we only got to see a small sample size of what he had to offer, as he only played nine games for the Ducks before being shut down with a foot injury.

Bol Bol can move up and down the court like a guard. For this reason, he was a very hyped up incoming freshman but still managed to exceed expectations when he was on the court. Bol will need to put on some more weight; after all, he is just 19-years old. But his game is so well rounded that he should be a force in the NBA.  A combination of Collins and Bol down low would produce a ridiculous twin towers situation for opponents while still creating ideal spacing for Trae Young. Though Alex Len has been a pleasant surprise for the franchise, they are still in need of a long-term solution at the center position.

Another guy who catches my eye is Kevin Porter Jr, the freshman from USC. Porter Jr. got off to a nice start to the season but missed some time due to injury as well as an internal suspension from the team. The reasoning is still unclear other than it was a conduct issue. Porter Jr. was viewed by many as a potential top 5 pick before the incident and a lack of playing time expected for a five-star recruit. But when Porter Jr. was out there, he looked good. The former Trojan has incredible athleticism, a knack of being able to create scoring off the dribble, and a great 3 point stroke (41.2% last season). When you roll the tape, you see a lot of similarities in his game to James Harden as far as creating his own shot.

Both of these prospects have red flags but come with so much untapped potential. If the Hawks can pull off getting one or both of these guys, it would be a win for the franchise. I am a firm believer that if Bol Bol remained healthy, he would be a top 5 pick. Porter Jr. was hyped up as one before a semi-disappointing freshman season. Reports are going around that the Cavs have been looking at both players with the 5th overall selection, so there is a chance a team takes a chance on one of these guys before the Hawks are on the board. Heck, the Hawks may even decide to package the picks in hopes of getting a guy like Jarrett Culver. However, my dream scenario would be landing both of these fine young gentlemen with star potential, and let Lloyd Pierce work his magic in developing them.

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