With the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery in the rear view mirror, the mock draft game can really begin to ramp up, and within mere moments after the selections were in place, ESPN had released their updated mock ($). With the 15th overall selection, Chad Ford projects the Hawks to draft a name that is already familiar to Atlanta fans in Kentucky swingman James Young.
Chad Ford had this to say about Young:
The Hawks have been looking for another wing, and Young has tremendous upside here. If he had shot the ball more consistently as a freshman, he would have been selected six to eight spots higher. Still scouts are convinced there's nothing wrong with his stroke and given a little more time, he could be a very effective defense stretcher.
Pegging Young to land with the Hawks certainly isn't a surprise, as he has been one of the major names linked with Atlanta since the beginning of the process. At 6-foot-8, he has nice size for the small forward position, and his potentially lights-out shooting would be a fit in the Mike Budenholzer system, especially with a glaring need for a backup wing player. Young's collegiate production sometimes left something to be desired, but he spent only one year at Kentucky on a star-laden roster, and there is certainly some development left in his game.
The 2014 NBA Draft is still more than a month away, and with that, there will be plenty of names in the mix for the 15th pick. Still, I would expect to hear rumblings surrounding James Young throughout the process, and it will be interesting to evaluate if and when the Hawks elect to bring him in for workouts. Stay tuned.