SI.com's Chris Mannix has updated his latest mock draft and has changed up his projection for the Atlanta Hawks just a bit. This time around Mannix projects Duke center Mason Plumlee at No. 17 and San Diego State wingman Jamaal Franklin at No. 18 to Atlanta. Previously Mannix had projected Plumlee and 19 year old point guard Dennis Schroeder to the Hawks. He has Schroeder going to Utah at No. 14 in the latest projection.
On Plumlee Mannix writes:
If Josh Smith departs as a free agent, the Hawks could move Al Horford to power forward -- his more natural position -- and search for a more traditional center. They will go hard after Dwight Howard this summer, but Plumlee, an athletic 7-footer who has developed a solid low-post game, is someone Atlanta can develop.
Mannix has Pittsburgh center Steven Adams going No. 16 to Boston and Gorgui Dieng moving all the way up to Oklahoma City at No. 12. He also projects Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Cavs at No. 19 and French center Rudy Gobert to the Jazz at No. 21.
Here is his take on Franklin:
Franklin, San Diego State's leader in points, rebounds, assists and steals last season, can do a little bit of everything. He doesn't shoot three-pointers particularly well, but he plays with energy and is a solid defender. The Hawks have nine free agents this summer and new coach Mike Budenholzer can develop Franklin to fill the hole left by Joe Johnson at shooting guard.
In Mike Budenholzer's introductory press conference he mentioned wanting players that were competitors at both ends of the floor and repeated the phrase several times. Franklin seems to fit that bill nicely.