Chad Ford has his new NBA Mock Draft up this morning at ESPN.com (Insider required) and he is standing pat on his forecasts for the Hawks, though they aren't so much based on insight, rather a hunch on both picks:
First the Hawks 17th pick:
17 Giannis Antetokounmpo Atlanta Hawks via Houston Rockets COUNTRY: Greece AGE: 18
HT: 6-9 WT: 215 POS: SF
Analysis: I continue to hear Antetokounmpo's name here. The Hawks can stash him overseas, let him develop, and in a few years he could be the steal of the draft. Or we'll all forget they drafted him. Either scenario probably works for Atlanta.
I have been on the Giannis bandwagon since we first started seriously looking that this draft, indicating that the draft day savings, upside and value is too great here, though it does carry significant risk in that he is at least three years away from being a part of this franchise.
It does, however, jive with Ferry's idea of building through the draft with value.
18 Shabazz Muhammad Atlanta Hawks COLLEGE: UCLA AGE: 20 HT: 6-6 WT: 222 POS: SF
Analysis: There's a point at which a player's reward outweighs the risk. I'm not sure where Muhammad's floor is, but it has to be pretty close. Yes, there are flaws in his game, but at some point you can't ignore his scoring abilities. The Hawks have been doing a lot of research on Muhammad the past few days. Plumlee, San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin and Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. also are possibilities.
I am not so sure here, but, again, there is perceived value with this pick.
First of all, if the Hawks stash with the #17 pick, I'd be shocked if they didn't go with Gorgui Dieng or another big to fill out the rotation right now.
And, if they didn't go big, I would assume a defensive minder, tough, hardworking wing like Jamaal Franklin would be in the cut.
Again, Ford indicates this is just a good place for value, and that's true -- Muhammad's stock might be getting too deflated, but character counts for Ferry/Mike Budenholzer and I would be surprised if they took anyone who wasn't in the mold of the Kawhi Leonard-type here.
The most interesting change in Ford's mock is Michigan PG Trey Burke, who has gone from being the best point guard prospect in the draft to third best by manner of where they are in the mock draft, with Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams and Lehigh's CJ McCollum going ahead of Burke.
Burke now stands at #12 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a potential trade partner if this indeed comes to pass.
Carter-Williams has the height advantage and McCollum the shooting over Burke, and there are questions about Burke's athleticism that makes his status tenuous. Burke, however, has shown tremendous production at the point and was ridiculously efficient in the NBA offensive staple, the pick and roll, offensively.
We've speculated that the Hawks might be trying to move up to take Trey Burke -- now it seems they might not have to make as large a jump.