The trade rumor involving Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague and Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel has gone quiet in the past few days, but that won't stop NBA Draft pundits from making some adjustments to their projections as a result. A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet fits in with that story line, as the writer released a new mock draft over the weekend that projects the Hawks to select a pure point guard with the number 21 overall pick.
That point guard comes with a very familiar name, and he is Kentucky's Tyler Ulis. Here is what the mock provided as rationale:
If the Hawks do in fact trade Jeff Teague, they'll be in the market for another point guard. Ulis is the best still on the board at this point in the draft.
When it comes to pure point guards in this class, only Providence's Kris Dunn ranks solidly ahead of Ulis, and Dunn will be long gone before the Hawks are able to make their first selection. In fact, Ulis could be off the board as well, as the former Kentucky floor general lands within the top 20 of most rankings within this class.
The 5-foot-10 point guard certainly has a size problem, as he weighed in at less than 150 (!) pounds at the NBA Draft combine, and that won't quell issues about his frame. Still, there are few pundits that question Ulis from a talent perspective, as he brings elite quickness, decision making and pure skill to the table at the position.
Ulis was highly productive at the college level, averaging 17.3 points and 7.0 assists per game as a sophomore, and he might fit nicely behind Dennis Schröder in a reserve role in the immediate future. At the same time, the Hawks have no reason to draft for pure need (especially in a backup position), and unless Ulis was the top player on their board, it would qualify as a leap to project this marriage.