UPDATE: From the Bill Shanks Show this afternoon.... Peachtree Hoops on the Radio: Draft Style
SB Nation has been ongoing with its Mock Draft, thanks to both the benevolent and all knowing Ridiculous Upside and each of the team blogs that have contributed their thoughts and picks to the process.
As the (fake) draft wore on, it looked good for Kris and myself that we would get one of the big men that has been slotted around our pick in the mock drafts, but watched in faux shock as Solomon Alabi, Hassan Whiteside, Kevin Seraphin, and Larry Sanders went quickly after our hopes got high.
Even Jordan Crawford, who interested as a scorer (and a monopoly on Crawfords) went at 23 as we prepped for our pick.
At #24, it was our turn. We looked at the bigs that were left (Daniel Orton, Craig Brackins, Jarvis Varnado) as well as shooting guard Quincy Pondexter, and was surprised to find a guy whom will likely be gone when the real Hawks make their pick on Thursday night.
It doesn't register on the Wow-O-Meter, but our philosophy was to grab the best player available. We were hopeful that a few bigs would fall further (Whiteside, in particular) but we went with the best player we felt was left on the board as well as a guy that can help the Hawks immediately in Texas forward Damion James.
It ended up being boiled down to two players, Orton and James, who has been taken in the teens by many mock drafts.
Orton, at 6'10, was very interesting as the last big man generally felt to be taken in the first round, but offered little in terms of on-court sample to latch onto, and not big enough for us to gamble on a project. At 7'0, he would be a no-brainer.
Varnado, who is my fetish pick (blocked shots and rebounds, everybody!), is a reach here and we would have wanted to trade back for a future first rounder and swap spots with someone with him in mind to pick but, alas, that's not allowed here, so he wasn't fully considered with Orton and James still on the board.
In the end, we decided that James brings more NBA ready game to the Hawks than the other players left on the board, and is able to score inside and out which, presumably, makes him a good fit in Larry Drew's new offense. He's likely a better fit behind Marvin Williams at the 3 than Maurice Evans, but may be duplicating things should Josh Childress decide to play out his qualifier in the ATL. James brings a reputation for hard work and production to the ATL and we're happy to add him to our playoff rotation.
It's not a huge upside pick like Orton might have been, but a safe bet and some immediate help. Spread the word! Feel the safeness!
Join us for the NBA Draft Selection Thread here on Peachtree Hoops the day of the draft (That would be Thursday). Comment on who picked what and stay with us through the Hawks picks in the first and second round. Resist the indifference and climb aboard!