The Atlanta Hawks invested the No. 19 overall pick in Wake Forest big man John Collins. Immediately following the pick, Hawks GM Travis Schlenk addressed the media to break down the choice and shared the following insight:
- Schlenk’s opening statement: "We're very excited to add John to the Atlanta Hawks. He's a guy that we had pegged higher up on the draft board than the 19th spot, so we love his athleticism. We love his ability to score, his rebounding. So, we're looking forward to getting him down here."
- On the Hawks not interviewing or working out Collins during the pre-draft process: "We saw him and scouted him a lot. We sent guys to the Pro Day in L.A. I saw him play three times this year. Probably four or five times last year. So we're comfortable with him."
- On the notion of fit vs. best player available: "Our philosophy is going to be best player available. Like I said, we had him ranked in the top 15. He was on the board. We went with him."
- On what drew the Hawks to Collins as a prospect: "First of all his athleticism. His ability to run the floor. He's a great rebounder. As you know, we've struggled a little bit with that in the past here. And he can score in the post."
- On the concerns about Collins on the defensive end: "That was kind of the knock on him at Wake Forest. But, a lot of times, especially in college when you're the main focal point, you'll see the best offensive player. He doesn't want to get in foul trouble so he can stay on the floor."
- On what the Hawks will be looking for Collins to improve on: "One of the first things we're going to work with him on is a jump shot. If you watched him play in college, all of his scoring came in the post and he's got a good post game. We just need to extend his range out. Especially with the way we play and the way the league is going."
The Hawks have two scheduled choices remaining at No. 41 and No. 60 overall. Stay tuned.