The Hawks are hosting another round of workouts today.
The players in attendance will include: Yuri Collins out of St Louis, Dexter Dennis out of Texas A&M, Julian Strawther out of Gonzaga, Courtney Ramey out of Arizona, Jaylen Martin out of Overtime Elite, and GG Jackson out of South Carolina.
I will put the highlight on the two best respective talents, Julian Strawther and GG Jackson. Both are projected to be drafted and may fit well with the Hawks.
Julian Strawther, Gonzaga
Season Averages: 15.2 PTS (46.9 FG%), 6.2 REB, 1.3 AST
Height: 6’7″ Weight: 205lbs
Puerto-Rican born Julian Strawther showed a lot of promise in his third and final year at Gonzaga. He combines NBA size with a natural ability to score the rock. He played in many big games in college, most importantly the NCAA national championship in 2022. He showed significant improvement from his freshman campaign where he logged just over seven minutes per game. There isn’t a shot on the floor he’s afraid of, finishing 40.8 percent from three on 5.3 attempts per game. With a 6’9” wingspan and good athleticism, Strawther proved to be a solid defender with all the tools to be defensively sound at the next level. He was also efficient in crashing the defensive glass. His NBA draft attention is drawn from his three-point shot.
The Hawks could benefit from a three-point shooter who can hold his end on the defensive side. As a head coach, Snyder has always put emphasis on shooting the three and that won’t change for next year. Strawther would be nice to have as he can knock down open looks and provides size to throw at teams on the defensive end. I see him in a back-up 3-and-D role.
ESPN Projection: Round 2, Pick 56 (MEM)
GG Jackson II, South Carolina
Season Averages: 15.4 PTS (38.4 FG%), 5.9 REB, 0.8 AST
Height: 6’7″ Weight: 205lbs
As the youngest player in this year’s draft, Jackson is chalk-full of raw potential. He is another player that shouldn’t have problems matching up in the NBA with good size and a 7-foot wingspan. Jackson is an explosive athlete who showed the ability to score at all three levels, drawing major interest from NBA organizations. However, he made a lot of young mistakes throughout the season and was relatively inefficient everywhere on the court (32.4 3FG% on 5.3 attempts per game). It was often he got sped up or forced into a bad shot. At 19 years old, Jackson has serious potential if he’s willing to play within himself. Some of his issues can be attributed to playing at South Carolina with no considerable talent around him. He has a decent handle to create his own shots and may be the type of player that gets much better without having to be the guy for his team.
ESPN Projection: Round 2, Pick 33 (SAS)
Jackson shows potential to fit with nearly any team. He will have to become more efficient inside and out, but that will come if he gets rid of his frequent bad shot selection. Should the Hawks send off John Collins, he could be a valuable backup 4.
Nate McMillan certainly didn’t maximize production out of recent rookies AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson. Luckily for whoever the Hawks draft this year, they can get straight to work under Quin Snyder. It’s hard to see an immediate role for any rookie joining the team, but we also don’t know what direction the front office will be going this summer. I wouldn’t expect the Hawks to run it back, which may make room for rookies like Jackson or Strawther.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire