At No. 17 Mannix projects Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira to Atlanta:
Worth noting here: The Hawks are exploring several options, including trading one or both picks and/or using their two first-round picks on players they can stash overseas. Scouts love Nogueira's rebounding and shot-blocking potential, as well as his ability to play in the open floor. "He runs like a deer," a Western Conference executive said. "When he puts some weight on, he's got the potential to be a starting center."
Nogueira is a center prospect that I feel like we have not talked about enough during the lead up to the draft. Early on he was projected as a late first rounder and a project big man. Some mocks of late have him shooting way up the draft so it won't be terribly surprising to see his name called early. He fits the bill as a draft and stash player as he is unlikely to come to the NBA for at least another season or two.
At No. 18 Mannix projects shooting guard Sergey Karasev to the Hawks:
Should the Hawks let Josh Smith walk as a free agent, it will open up a hole at forward. Karasev is coveted for his versatility. He faced quality competition in the PBL, Russia's top league, and reportedly looked sharp at the Nike Hoops Summit in April. Karasev is an excellent catch-and-shoot player as well. He will be ready to play right away ... unless the Hawks persuade him to stay overseas for one more year.
Atlanta had a whole at the small forward position all of last season for the most part and potentially losing Josh Smith doesn't change that much. Karasev is billed as a shooter at the NBA level and is just 19 years old.
Other notables from SI.com's Mock Draft:
- Trey Burke at No. 8 to Detroit
- Shabazz Muhammad at No. 9 to Minnesota
- Jamaal Franklin at No. 16 to Boston
- Giannis Adetokunbo at No. 19 to Cleveland
- Mason Plumlee at No. 21 to Utah
- Gorgui Dieng at No. 22 to Brooklyn