The stretch four is a valuable commodity in today's NBA and no one has embraced that philosophy more so than the Atlanta Hawks. That has lead a number of pundits to focus on the power forward position when trying to project what the Hawks might do in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft. DraftExpress writer Jonathan Givony updates Yahoo Sports' latest mock draft and projects Kentucky's 6-10 freshman forward Trey Lyles to Atlanta at No. 15.
Lyles is suffering from the glut of power forwards expected to be drafted in the lottery, as his stock is being held back somewhat by his lackluster production in college. He projects as a stretch-4, which is a valuable commodity in today's NBA, and is big enough to even see some minutes at the center position in smaller lineups. With all the uncertainty around Atlanta's frontcourt, Lyles could be a nice piece for them moving forward.
Lyles is another intriguing prospect with a lot of upside. He checked in at 6-10 in shoes at the NBA Combine and possesses a massive 7-3 wingspan packed on a 235 pound frame. He is not overly athletic, but has improved his conditioning which had previously been a concern.
While Lyles is billed as a stretch four, he was a bit of a mixed bag in that regard at Kentucky according to DraftExpress.
Another area NBA teams will likely try to learn more about is Lyles' potential as an outside shooter. He was somewhat of a mixed bag at Kentucky in this area, only converting 4 of his 29 3-point attempts (14%) on the season, and 32/87 jumpers (37%) overall according to Synergy. With that said, Lyles has good shooting mechanics, both with his feet set and off the dribble, evidenced by the 74% he shot from the free throw line this season, and has been sporting range out to the 3-point line already in high school, although not at consistent enough rate just yet.
While its natural to focus on Atlanta and power forwards it is also important to take a look a the wing prospects that are also on the board. Givony projects Wisconsin's Sam Dekker, Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Arizona's Justin Anderson to be available at No. 15. The Hawks could ultimately decide to go in that direction so it will be interesting to see what info emerges regarding workouts between now and the actual draft.