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What should the Atlanta Hawks draft strategy be?

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2011 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

We continue our look at some of the pressing decisions facing the Atlanta Hawks this offseason with a focus on the NBA Draft. Atlanta will have three picks in the upcoming draft including the No. 19 selection of the first round. What kind of player should the Hawks be looking for? Should they focus on a particular position or should they go the best player available route?

The Hawks have three picks in this draft. Is there a certain position they need to focus on or is it best player available?

Kris Willis: Given the current state of the roster, I think going the best player available is the appropriate route. The Hawks need to add talent no matter the position.

Brad Rowland: Best player available. Drafting for need is always a perilous proposition and it absolutely should not be a consideration here. There are things that the Hawks need (shooting, athleticism) but those concerns are more position-less. Would I like to see the team come away with a project big for the future? Yes, but if there are better players available, Atlanta should take them.

Glen Willis: From the standpoint of the current roster construction I would think they need to focus on the center and power forward positions. But I’m not completely sure that given the makeup of this draft class that it makes sense to draft a big at #19. It seems there are a million bigs in this draft, so I guess it would just come down to identifying the right player at one of those positions. But the current roster doesn’t have a young future starter at either of those positions.

RedRev: I am a firm believer in taking best player available in the draft as it is difficult to project rookies into a rotation. This draft is limited in players who provide defensive skills and shooting. Hopefully, Atlanta can land a couple of players that can provide both regardless of position. Presently, I find Caleb Swanigan to be the most undervalued player in the draft and hope Atlanta can land him at #31.

Graham Chapple: My first thought for the Hawks in this draft is to draft big of some sort (Paul Millsap, Mike Muscala, Ersan Ilyasova and Kris Humphries are all free agents this summer) and that’s what I’ll say in the end. Maybe the Hawks could draft themselves a 4-5 combo forward as limiting themselves to a player who could only play center will hurt Bud’s ability to mix-and-match personnel, as he likes to do. When you’re picking at 19, you kind of get to a point where it’s more about your team’s needs rather than a player that’s head-and-shoulders better than, say, the player you’re considering drafting to fill a team need. At 31 though...that’s a different story.

So we’ll see...

Josh Lane: With how the roster currently looks, the Hawks should be looking at the PF/C position considering the impending free agent situation as well as the Hawks lacking youth at that position. However, with picking as late as 19, I believe that best player available is the route Atlanta needs to take. This way Atlanta can hope to find a rotation player at this position for now and the future.

Thomas Jenkins: Best player available, and I’d even take that a step further and say maybe even the player with the best potential ceiling. Recently, the Hawks have drafted players who have low projected ceilings, and high projected floors. That’s a completely defensible strategy, and it looks even better when a player like Taurean Prince exceeds all expectations in year one. But I’d love to see the team take a swing for the fences with a high-upside, high-risk player. Perhaps the Schlenk regime will make a big splash with the number 19 or 31 pick.