The draft combine in Chicago is a little over a week away and teams are starting to focus in on the 2013 NBA Draft. While things will continue to fluctuate, ESPN.com's Chad Ford has released version 2.0 of his Mock Draft.
At the time of the draft the Atlanta Hawks will have three players with guaranteed contracts for next season. General Manager Danny Ferry will no doubt have an idea of who he might pursue in free agency but the Hawks would appear to be in position to draft the best player available with the 17th and 18th picks of the first round.
With the No. 17 pick in the draft, Ford projects the Hawks to select 7-1 PF/C Rudy Gobert out of France.
Atlanta is in rebuilding mode and can afford to swing for the fences. Gobert's best attribute is a 7-foot-9 wingspan. He's played adequately in the French League this year, but he's still very much a work in progress. With most of the team heading into free agency, they need depth everywhere -- especially on the front line.
DraftExpress evaluated Gobert at the 2012 Eurocamp and labeled him as a project at the time but as a potential lottery pick in this draft. Here are some of Gobert's highlights from the 2012 Eurocamp.
The Hawks will pick back-to-back in the draft and Ford projects San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin to Atlanta with the 18th pick in the draft.
Atlanta is somewhat set in the backcourt, but I think Franklin, who also can play some small forward, might be worth the gamble. His infectious energy and athletic ability should give the team a real shot in the arm.
Franklin led San Diego State in points, rebounds, assists and steals this season. DraftExpress sees his biggest strengthas his outstanding motor and that he is a competitor at both ends of the floor.