The NBA Draft Lottery is set for Tuesday evening and, while the Atlanta Hawks are not involved, the final draft order certainly affects what the team can do with the No. 19 overall pick. Before that information arrives, however, there is still plenty to consider and the newest mock draft from Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation provides food for thought.
With the pick in question, the Hawks are tied to Creighton big man Justin Patton:
The Hawks took two wings in the first round last year. They appear to be committed to Dennis Schröder at point guard moving forward. One thing they could use is a young big man to groom behind Dwight Howard. Patton fits the bill as an athletic 19-year-old big who runs the floor and doesn’t miss around the hoop.
This isn’t the first time that Atlanta has been linked to Patton and it won’t be the last. The 19-year-old center certainly is not a finished product but the idea that the Hawks could add a developmental big man behind Dwight Howard (if he is around) is an intriguing one. He was exceptionally efficient during one year at Creighton and, even without great defensive impact, there is a lot to project with Patton.
Patton sits within the tier that also includes players like Texas big man Jarrett Allen, UCLA’s Ike Anigbogu and Duke’s Harry Giles, as tantalizing prospects with real downside if things go wrong. In the Mike Budenholzer era, the Hawks have been much “safer” with regard to picks in the first round, as evidenced by the additions of Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry as college veterans a year ago. Still, a bit of a gamble might not be the worst thing and Patton fits that bill.
Is he a guy that would be intriguing for the Hawks to choose? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Be gentle.