Tired of big men yet?
The Atlanta Hawks have already been linked to a bevy of potential additions in the frontcourt during the 2016 NBA Draft process, but this time around, the team is projected to select a talented wing. Syracuse swingman Malachi Richardson made a somewhat surprising choice to remain in the draft, but his stock is on the rise to the point where Aaron Torres of FOX Sports projects him to land in Atlanta with the number 21 pick.
In the short term the Hawks lack wing scoring, and in the long term they lack star power, and Richardson eventually could fill both needs. Yes, he's a long way from being a complete player, but as Richardson showed in Syracuse's run to the Final Four, few players have more long-term potential than he does. His 23-point performance against Virginia was one of the best games anyone played in the tournament.
As referenced above, Richardson is best known for carrying the Orange to a massive upset win over Virginia in the NCAA Tournament, and his college record was mixed at best during his lone season at Syracuse. Richardson shot just 36.9% from the floor (despite 35% from three) with more turnovers (79) than assists (77), and he is an extremely raw prospect at this stage.
However, the 20-year-old measured at more than 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan at the combine, and Richardson is a big-time athlete. That allows him to be projected at least somewhat reasonably in this range, even if there are plenty of warts to pick apart as well.
Names like Richardson and DeAndre Bembry (who many are pointing to for the Hawks) will be prominent players in the discussion should Atlanta settle on a wing with the 21st pick, but it would certainly be a flier to pick the former Syracuse product. Stay tuned.