The 2013 NBA Draft analysis continues this time with SI.com's Chris Mannix weighing in with his projections for the first round of the NBA Draft. If there is a trend in all of these projections it is that many expect the Hawks to go big with at least one of their two selections in the first round and Duke center Mason Plumlee is a popular choice. Mannix projects the Hawks to go with Plumlee with the No. 17 pick.
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.
Plumlee measured out at the draft combine to be a legit seven footer with shoes on with a 6-foot-11 inch wingspan. Here is DraftExpress' scouting report video on Plumlee:
At No. 18, Mannix projects the Hawks to take 19 year old point guard Dennis Schroeder out of Germany. Schroeder was reportedly given a first round promise by at least one NBA team at the draft combine and is projected somewhat higher in a few other mocks. Mannix thinks he has the potential to be a very good NBA player in the future.
Schroeder, says an Eastern Conference scout, "is a miniature [Rajon] Rondo." At 19, he has natural point-guard instincts, excellent speed and an improving jump shot. Several teams in the 20s would love for Schroeder to fall. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague is a restricted free agent, and though he is likely to return, Schroeder has the potential to be a big-time starter in the future.
Schroeder is listed at 6-foot-2 but has a wingspan of over 6-foot-7. His athleticism and playmaking ability have him projected to be a nice player down the road. He is a high upside pick that may not last this far in the draft. Here is DraftExpress' interview with Schroeder at the draft combine: