3. Diamond Stone
Stone came over to the Hawks as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent Paul Millsap to Denver. He had few opportunities to play with the Clippers in his rookie season, but could see major minutes in Atlanta as a reserve big man.
The 6’11”, 265-pound center was the number five overall recruit coming out of high school. He chose Maryland, where he thrived as a freshman, but might have been one of those players who could have used a little more development before heading to the NBA.
Early on in summer league, Stone has shown the skill set to play in the NBA. He has averaged 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game. His post moves are fluid, but he lacks some athleticism and strength to contend with a lot of the NBA’s centers. The Hawks will be working on him with that going forward in hopes he can reach the potential he once showed as a high school athlete.
2. John Collins
John Collins was projected by many to be drafted in the back-end of the lottery, but luckily for the Hawks, fell all the way to the 19th pick. With the departure of Paul Millsap, there is a very good chance Collins sees starter minutes as a rookie. This would be unusual for the 19th pick, but Collins is already showing he is capable.
To be frank, Collins has dominated the competition early on in summer league, averaging 15.0 points and 10.7 rebounds in under 25 minutes a game. His strength and skill in the post is what has stood out so far, but it has been his mid-range jump shot that might be the most pleasant surprise. If Atlanta can develop Collins into a stretch-four, he could be one of the best players in this year’s draft.
Summer league is summer league, so there is not need to get too excited on Collins just yet. However, his play has been more than promising over the first three games. His floor is high, and his ceiling is through the roof, which is all you can ask out of a guy taken 19th in the draft.
1. DeAndre Bembry
Collins is going to get all the attention, but it has actually been DeAndre Bembry who has been the best player on the Hawks summer league team. He is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game while also collecting 4.7 rebounds and dishing out 4.0 assists.
Bembry is a true all-around player. At 6’6″, he can play some point guard as his best attribute might actually be passing. He was seen guarding opposing point guards at times during summer league. On defense, he is a true pest, already racking up 10 steals in three games. That large frame combined with his quickness allows him to legitimately guard four positions.
The only aspect Bembry is missing is his jump shot. He struggled shooting the three throughout college and has not yet figured it out in the NBA. He did look to have an improved stroke during Monday’s contest, but it is a small sample size. There is a chance this never changes, but Bembry does not have a bad looking shot. The Hawks development team has been known to work wonders with players who can not shoot. Bembry could be one of Mike Budenholzer’s favorite players if he can ever find a consistent three-point shot.