With less than a week until the 2017 NBA Draft, mock drafts become more and more informed and ESPN’s Chad Ford always presents one of the most high-profile projections. On Monday, Ford released his 7.0 Mock Draft and he linked Creighton big man Justin Patton to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 19 overall pick.
The Hawks can't count on Paul Millsap returning. Dwight Howard's contract might be tough to move, but his role as an anchor to the Hawks' defense will continue to decline.
Patton is not ready to contribute yet. He's one of the more raw prospects in the draft. But he's got enormous potential and teams like the Hawks think he has major upside.
Patton has been a popular mock draft choice for Atlanta throughout the process and that makes sense to some degree. The young big man projects as a potentially devastating offensive force, with a ton of skill around the rim and the presumptive ability to step out and shoot.
With that said, Patton’s defensive upside is certainly in question and Ford’s assertion that Patton is quite raw is spot-on. It would be a gamble for the Hawks to hitch their wagon to Patton given the “bust” potential but, if he hits in a big way, someone could unearth a steal.
Later in the mock, Ford projected the Hawks to pick up Duke combo guard Frank Jackson at No. 31 overall. This would be interesting given that, in this scenario, both Derrick White and Jawun Evans were available. With that said, Jackson’s upside is arguably the highest of the three and he is more of a pure shooting guard at this point.
Lastly, the No. 60 overall pick was pegged to Miami shooting guard Davon Reed. He is a big-time shooter from long range but there are concerns elsewhere to the point where Reed could reasonably go undrafted.
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