It is mock draft season, and the Atlanta Hawks are prominently involved. The team has already been linked to Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Arkansas big man Bobby Portis in recent high-profile mocks, and on Monday, Zach Harper of CBS Sports introduced a new name into the fold in the form of Kentucky forward Trey Lyles.
Here is what Zach had to say about the Lyles pick at number 15 overall:
The Hawks have a great balanced attack, but they don't have a lot of depth inside. Relying less on Elton Brand and Pero Antic while putting some incredible talent like Lyles as the backup 4 is perfect for them.
The 19-year-old Lyles measured at 6-foot-10 in shoes at the NBA Draft combine last month, and while he played out of position at the small forward spot for Kentucky at times, he profiles well as a power forward at the next level. Because of Kentucky's incredible depth and balance, Lyles averaged only 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game (23.0 minutes) in Lexington, but all indications are that he was capable of much more.
With the uncertainty surrounding both Elton Brand and Pero Antic (as referenced by Harper above), the Hawks are certainly lacking depth that you can pencil in after Al Horford and Mike Muscala in the frontcourt. That is magnified by the potential departure of Paul Millsap as well, and if a player like Lyles is available at 15, there are certainly worse directions that Atlanta's braintrust could go in to provide depth for the roster.
Lyles profiles well in Mike Budenholzer's system because of his length and ability to stretch the floor with a quality jump shot, and it would seem logical that the two sides would be linked together quite a bit in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.