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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford projects Ivica Zubac to Atlanta Hawks

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The Hawks pick up a project big man in the latest mock update from ESPN.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks have been tied to 19-year-old center Ivica Zubac before, and the latest update from the most visible mock draft on the internet agrees. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ($$$) released his "9.0" mock over the weekend, and he had this to say about Atlanta picking up the Bosnian big man at number 21 overall:

Teams are split on the Zizic-Zubac debate. While most lean Zizic because of toughness and rebounding ability, Zubac's offensive game is attractive to teams looking for bigs who can still score in the paint. The Hawks could definitely use another big in their frontcourt. If they're patient with him, Zubac could be a steal down the road.

Ford references the Zizic-Zubac debate, and he is discussing 19-year-old Croatian big man Ante Zizic. Both players have been linked to the Hawks at various points, but Zizic was not available in this mock scenario.

Both players would be long-term projects in the grand scheme, though it must be said that Zubac is more of a "traditional" big in that he lacks athleticism and would be more focused on the offensive end. The 7-foot-1, 260-pound center has shown strong post ability offensively and the skills to make that a reality at the NBA level, but Atlanta's defensive scheme does not appear to be an ideal fit for his athletic profile.

Ford will almost certainly reveal another mock projection (or multiple) before the 2016 NBA Draft begins on Thursday, and we will keep you abreast to keep the discussion moving. Stay tuned.