The NBA season is closing in on the All-Star Break, the trade deadline is right around the corner and its never too early to start looking at the 2014 NBA Draft and some of the tantalizing prospects that are expected to be in it.
Yannis Koutroupis of BasketballInsiders.com (Formerly HoopsWorld) has released a full mock up of this year's draft as things sit on January 16. Currently the Atlanta Hawks would swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets and would have the No. 12 pick in the draft. I say currently because Brooklyn is trending upward while Atlanta appears to be sliding. At any rate Koutroupis projects them to take 6-10 freshman Noah Vonleh out of Indiana.
Vonleh is averaging 12.1 points and nine rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line. He is also blocking 1.3 shots per game. He played 32 minutes in Indiana's upset win over Wisconsin earlier this week and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks.
He was a 2013 McDonald's All-American and sat down for this interview with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress before the game.
Its still way early to be looking at the draft with more than a cursory look. In addition to the draft order being unsettled we don't know who will be in the draft. A guy like Vonleh would most certainly considering making the leap after his freshman season if he is projected into the lottery but there are a lot of games still left to be played.
He's not quite as long as Lucas Nogueira whom the Hawks drafted in the first round last season. Every team out there needs size but the Hawks also have a glaring need on the wing. Someone like Kentucky freshman James Young, who Koutroupis slots to the Detroit Pistons at No. 13 could be appealing to the Hawks.