The Atlanta Hawks have two second round picks in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft that could prove to be quite valuable. While they certainly are not scrutinized on the same level as first round selections, picks in the 31 through 60 range do present upside in their low cost (and risk) and the Hawks get two cracks at adding talent this season.
Over the weekend, we took a look at five college veterans that could be enticing for Atlanta, but on Tuesday, Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports came up with two additional names that fit this bill when putting together a mock draft. First, Vecenie projected the Hawks to select Syracuse swingman Michael Gbinije with the number 44 overall pick, and he had this to say about the fit:
The Hawks have had success with experienced players in the second round, and Gbinije works well as a good player that's had a lot of success.
As noted above, Gbinije is a very experienced player after beginning his college career at Duke and spending three seasons at Syracuse, and that is both a good and bad thing. The 6-foot-7 swingman is already 24 years old and that limits his ceiling quite a bit, especially when combined with only a 6-foot-8 wingspan and a relative lack of explosive athleticism. Still, Gbinije is a nice shooter (39% from three over the past two seasons) who knows what he is doing on the basketball court, and that could be appealing for Atlanta.
With the number 54 pick, the Hawks would pick up yet another high-profile college player. This time, it comes in the form of Gonzaga big man Kyle Wiltjer.
My guess is the Hawks try to stash an American here. Wiltjer's father played in Europe and knows the area well. Maybe Kyle would be willing to start his time there as well?
It isn't every day that you see a projection that involves stashing a four-year college player in Europe, but it does make some sense here. In addition to the fact that he might be willing (as referenced above), Wiltjer is more of a "project" than a typical 23-year-old would be.
The 6-foot-10 big man is one of the best pure shooters (yes, you read that right) in the entire draft class, making 44.8% of his threes in the final two seasons of his college career. Wiltjer is also extremely efficient offensively, posting a true shooting percentage of well over 60% and using his length to great advantage. Unfortunately, Wiltjer might be the single worst defender in this class because of his athletic limitations, and until he becomes something approaching passable on that end, it would be tough to hide him on an NBA roster.
The Atlanta Hawks might go with an International "stash" (or two) in the second round, but if they don't, there are plenty of recognizable college players to choose from at this point. Stay tuned.