Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears released the second version of his mock draft today and projects international center Jusuf Nurkic to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 15 pick.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Jusuf Nurkic, Croatia Cedevita Zagreb, C, 6-11, 280 - Selecting Nurkic would allow the Hawks to move Al Horford to his more natural power forward position.
We have previously discussed Nurkic but Spears brings to light another debate. Should the Hawks draft a frontcourt while having a glaring need on the wing? Spears has the Hawks taking Nurkic ahead of the likes of Kyle Anderson, T.J. Warren and Rodney Hood. Nurkic has been projected as going higher in several other mocks and would appear to be a good value at the 15th pick but it feels like Atlanta has more pressing needs.
Its interesting that Spears cites the desire to move Horford to power forward as his reasoning for the pick. Atlanta will have Paul Millsap under contract for at least one other season and spent a first-round pick last summer on a international big in Lucas Nogueira. If Nurkic came to the NBA next season he would likely add depth to the frontcourt but he isn't warranting a full time switch for Horford anytime soon.
We don't really know who Danny Ferry might be targeting and it is very possible that a big is in play. Given the roster construction and the players projected to be available when Atlanta picks at 15 its hard to see them passing on a wing candidate.