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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Ante Zizic garnering attention with 21st pick

The Hawks have been linked to a new name at the center position, and it probably isn't a player you are familiar with right now.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ante Zizic isn't exactly a household name for NBA fans from the United States, but at least three pundits are now projecting a potential marriage between the Croatian big man and the Atlanta Hawks. The good people at Basketball Insiders released an updated mock draft on Wednesday, and both Alex Kennedy and Moke Hamilton assigned Zizic to Atlanta with the 21st pick.

It should be noted that the two other projections (chosen by Joel Brigham and Steve Kyler) did not follow suit, but DraftExpress produced an update on Tuesday, June 7 that also includes Zizec to the Hawks. Zizec, who stands at 6-foot-11 and 235 pounds, ranks as the number 21 overall player (what a coincidence!) for both ESPN and Draft Express, which suggests this could be an appropriate mock projection.

Zizec is considered to be an excellent rebounder for his age, which should generate some level of excitement among Hawks fans. The young big man averaged 13.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 25.7 minutes of action in the Adriatic League last season, and while Zizec is raw in some areas, he defies conventional wisdom about European bigs with aggressiveness and physicality.

With the uncertainty in the frontcourt involving Al Horford and, to some extent, Tiago Splitter, discussions involving young big men will persist for the Atlanta Hawks. It will be interesting to see how the team plays this when the draft arrives, though, as the roster could encounter a logjam if virtually everyone (Edy Tavares, Mike Muscala, etc.) is brought back for another season.

Stay tuned.