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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Having fun with Atlanta Hawks second round projections

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Think the first round is tough to predict? Try the second round.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks hold two second round selections in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, and while the lion's share of the focus is on the number 21 overall pick, every slot matters. With that in mind, it is time to have a bit of fun with second round projections, as two major sites have released full mock drafts that included picks 31 through 60.

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report weighs in with the most detailed projection, and he sends Michigan swingman Caris LeVert to the Hawks with the number 44 pick.

Caris LeVert would go in the first round and potentially the lottery if he hadn't gone down with a foot injury for the second straight season. Unfortunately, foot problems tend to linger, making him a risky play. On the other hand, he's a steal if he holds up physically.

LeVert has been a long time favorite in this space, and he was once considered to be a likely lottery pick before suffering multiple injuries at Michigan. If you're looking for upside in the mid-second round, this would certainly be a fit.

With that same selection, the good folks at Draft Express project Maryland big man Robert Carter Jr. to land in Atlanta. Local fans may remember Carter as a former Georgia Tech standout in the frontcourt, and the big man averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in his final college season with the Terrapins.

Later in the draft, Wasserman is back with a projection of Louisville big man Chinanu Onuaku to the Hawks with the number 54 overall pick. The writer notes that "if Onuaku is going to earn a living in the pros, it will be for his finishing, shot-blocking and rebounding," and during his sophomore campaign at Louisville, Onuaku averaged 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in fewer than 25 minutes per game.

Finally, Draft Express settles on NC State guard Cat Barber with the same selection. The 6-foot-3 scorer averaged 23.5 points per game during his junior year with the Wolfpack, and while his upside seems relatively low, Barber would (at least theoretically) provide the option to grow into a bench scorer during his professional career.

It cannot be stressed enough that second round mock drafts are hilariously unreliable (even more so than first round mocks), but it is always interesting to see the type of players who are around and linked with the Atlanta Hawks in advance of draft night. Stay tuned.