The Atlanta Hawks are in a unique position for the 2016 NBA Draft in that the possibilities are virtually endless. The team has a great deal of flexibility (read: uncertainty) with the roster as this summer approaches, and while most pundits seem to believe that Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox will focus either on a big man or a versatile wing, Atlanta could also be in search of pure backcourt help.
In his latest mock draft, Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports explores such a possibility, sending former Florida State shooting guard Malik Beasley to the Hawks with the number 21 pick:
Beasley goes home to Georgia in this mock draft, as the Hawks select the best player remaining on the board to help out a backcourt that could lose one of Jeff Teague or Dennis Schröder this offseason as well as Kent Bazemore and Kirk Hinrich. Beasley can score at all three levels, shoots it well from distance, and is a better athlete than he gets credit for.
In general, this mock is very interesting in that it explores many trade possibilities for other clubs around the NBA, but Beasley coming "home" to Atlanta would be quite intriguing. The 6-foot-5 guard played his high school basketball locally at St. Francis before heading to Tallahassee, and Beasley put together a very strong freshman campaign with the Seminoles.
Beasley measured at just shy of 6-foot-5 at the combine, indicating that he is basically pigeonholed as a shooting guard. However, he is a very good athlete that plays longer than he actually is, and Beasley should bring value with his shooting, where he connected on nearly 39% of his three-point attempts last season.
In general, scouts are divided on whether Beasley's game will fully translate at the NBA level, but this would be a very reasonable draft slot given what we know about the local product at this point. It remains to be seen if the Hawks are in the market for another pure shooting guard with the current makeup of their roster (and the virtual use of a first-round pick on Tim Hardaway Jr. a year ago), but Malik Beasley is a nice player that could fit snugly in Budenholzer's system.