The Mock Draft season continues and this time comes from The Hoop Doctors who have what will be one of the more popular projections for the Atlanta Hawks that I have seen. They see the Hawks taking Louisville center Gorgui Dieng with the No. 17 pick and D-League alumnus Glen Rice Jr with the 18th pick.
One of the nation's best shot-blockers, the already 23 year old Dieng proved his worth on a national stage, helping Louisville capture the 2013 National Title. He has legitimate NBA size, with a humongous 7'3 wingspan, and a better than advertised low post game. Adding Dieng would allow All Star big man Al Horford to move to his more natural PF position. Comparison: Roy Hibbert
On Rice Jr:
The son of former NBA great Glen Rice, Jr has taken the hard road to the big leagues, after being kicked off the Georgia Tech team, and toiling in the D-League. After an outstanding showing at the Combine, Rice Jr is skyrocketing up draft boards, possessing prototypical size and abilities for the SG position. If teams can look past his collegiate red flags, Rice could be a sleeper value pick providing elite perimeter scoring like his father once did. Comparison: Glen Rice Sr.
I like Dieng's defensive abilities and think that he will translate well to the pro game. I'm not convinced that he will be available when the Hawks pick but with a lot of big man options it is possible. Rice Jr was a hot name leading into the combine but I have heard mixed reviews since. He has slid in a lot of mocks but he is one of the few true appealing small forwards in this draft. Still his checkered past at Georgia Tech still raises red flags.