What's keeping the Hawks from drafting players taller than 6'10" who are worth holding down a spot in NBA rotations? Acquiring a true center project to develop would have been a nice move for the Hawks.
Zaza Pachulia, who I highly doubt is 26 years old, saw his minutes and production fall off this past season. A center that only shoots at a 48% clip is not a good fit for a system that employs high usage guards.
Winning teams recognize the importance of size. It doesn't matter if you run the triangle, the Princeton system, a heavy-screening / movement offense or isolation ball, you cannot win a championship without at least two truly serviceable big men of 6'10" or taller. Orlando is secure at center with Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat, and they still drafted Daniel Orton. In the playoffs, it's more important to be deep at the four or five than anywhere else.
Outside of Al Horford, the Hawks franchise has been more than underwhelming in their drafting of big bodies. We all knew that already. The problem is that the Hawks think entirely too hard when drafting for PF/C and they often draft them too high (i.e. Shelden Williams). While Josh Smith plays PF, I think we all agree that he should be at SF much like Gerald Wallace, so he really doesn't count. Solomon Jones was a second round flyer and a solid pick a few years ago, but even his young career is looking like it will soon fizzle out.
The Hawks should be happy with the addition of Jordan Crawford for #27 value last night. He's a scorer and he gives the team security if they were to have to part ways with Joe Johnson this summer. He wouldn't replace Johnson's production immediately and his impact won't be as instant has Jamal Crawford's, but he's young and should be impressionable enough for Larry Drew and staff to mold and fit into their new system.
My beef is with the botching of making a second draft pick that could have filled a serious need for the team. There was a string of 6'11" or taller players that were picked late in last night's draft by teams that recognize the importance of size in a winning equation.
Money was clearly the factor in the Hawks' decisions and moves on draft night. Picks were cashed in like savings bonds and not used for substance. A Pape Sy Euro stash over is not the type of move that Hawks fans will tolerate at this point. The bottom line is that he's an investment and will most likely be sent off to another team down the line.
If the Hawks want to continue to play Horford out of position at center, how useful would it be to sub in for him with a physical presence? I'm afraid we won't know based on the Hawks' antics this summer.