The Hawks are at a crossroads right now, and I don’t think they have an identity. However, the Athletic has a few interesting choices for them in a way-too-early mock draft:
Outside of the top two selections — which seem relatively set in stone with Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson — this NBA Draft class figures to be a bit of a question mark still. @Sam_Vecenie's latest mock draft: https://t.co/6gezbop8Ui pic.twitter.com/Vji7YNGdNk
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 12, 2023
Sam Vecenie has the Hawks taking Anthony Black and Ricky Council IV out of Arkansas:
11. Atlanta Hawks
Anthony Black | 6-7 guard | 19 years old | Arkansas
Confession time: Black is the exact kind of player I tend to overvalue. He has plus positional size as a 6-7 guard who can play point and initiate offense. He processes the game at an elite level, constantly making the right read and play. He defends at an exceptionally high level as a switchable player you can utilize on a variety of different players. He pressures the paint and has real athleticism. I love everything about Black’s game but one thing: He struggles to shoot it right now. He has real touch, but the mechanics are messy and are going to require real work. If he can work through those and get the most out of his touch, I buy Black becoming a really good player on good teams. But the jumper is going to be a hole he has to fix.
I don’t disagree with this evaluation; the issue is the Hawks don’t really need another primary ball handler unless they’re coming off the bench. They do, however, need a lot of shooting. Keyonte George, who Vecenie has going 12th, is an interesting name to provide the Hawks with a bucket getter.
I do like Anthony Black’s projection, however. He’s a solid defender, which I love about him. NBADraftNet compares him to a former Hawks All Star — Steve Smith.
Ricky Council is another big guard, and the Wichita State transfer has been a big-time bucket getter for the Razorbacks. He’s a bit inefficient at times, but he still chips in 18.3 points per game for Eric Musselman’s squad.
Photographer: Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire