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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Taurean Prince linked to Atlanta Hawks by two prominent outlets

Two major mock drafts now pair the Hawks with Baylor forward Taurean Prince.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor forward Taurean Prince has generally been slotted in the mid-to-late first round, making him a popular point of discussion when it comes to the NBA Draft plans of the Atlanta Hawks. With less than one week to go before the 2016 draft begins, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports projects Prince to land in Atlanta with the number 21 pick, and he wrote this to explain his thinking:

This 6-8 wing has the athleticism and wingspan to guard his position, and even multiple positions, at the NBA level. I know some teams in the teens like him. So there's no guarantee Prince will be available at 21. But, if he is, the Hawks would be wise to snatch him up.

In addition to Parrish's thoughts, a "roundtable" mock draft put forth by Sports Illustrated also links Prince with the Hawks at number 21, and there could be fire to go along with this smoke. The talented forward reportedly worked out for the Hawks in early May, and Prince would fit the mold of a combo forward with defensive upside that could help Atlanta both in the short and long-term.

There are certainly more "exciting" players with higher theoretical ceilings than Prince, but the 21-year-old forward is very solid across the board and that could be appealing. Atlanta's large-scale approach to the off-season remains uncertain due to free agent choices with Al Horford and Kent Bazemore, but if the team elects to "bring the band back", Prince could serve as another option to defend high-level wings in the future without taking anything off the table.

Expect to hear his name a great deal over the next seven days. Stay tuned.