While the Atlanta Hawks aren’t overly likely to end up with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, every mock draft available pegs the team for that position at the moment given the way the odds break down for the upcoming lottery. To that end, the debate is already raging about what the Hawks should do if and when they land in that spot and there are separate arguments.
One such argument comes between the group of talented big men pitted against the higher upside offensive players (Trae Young and Michael Porter Jr., specifically), while another simply compares the young bigs to one another. In a recent mock from Chris Stone of the Sporting News, Duke’s Marvin Bagley III slips to No. 4 overall and that, well, provides a result that a lot of the fan base would appreciate.
In fact, the mock endears itself even further in describing Bagley as “a better version of John Collins” and here is the write-up in full:
Pairing John Collins with a prospect who might be best described as “a better version of John Collins” may not be the smartest front office decision given some of the potential defensive deficiencies a Bagley-Collins frontcourt would face, but it’s tough to turn down the Duke big man’s talent.
Bagley has the potential to be the best player in the class if his skill level catches up with his athleticism and motor. The 19-year-old averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest as a freshman. His second and third jumps make him a dominant force on the offensive glass, and he should be a dangerous pick-and-roll threat.
More enticing, though, is his potential short roll play-making. Bagley’s ability to pass a bit on the move gives him a leg up on some of the draft’s other elite bigs.
The Bagley-Collins comparison isn’t new and, in many ways, it makes sense. Still, the bigger question (as noted above) is whether the two could co-exist as full-time starters in the same alignment and that is one that Travis Schlenk and company will need to weigh if and when Bagley III is available on draft night.
Schlenk has been vocal about simply taking the best player available and that could easily lead him to Bagley III despite any fit concerns with Collins. With that said, Chris Vivlamore of the AJC recently indicated on 92.9 The Game that Schlenk may not be the biggest fan of Bagley at this juncture and that could be instructive.
Defensively, there would be challenges in the early going of that potential partnership and, on the other end of the floor, development would required from both young big men when it comes to floor-spacing and playmaking. Still, there is an allure to the terror created by two plus athletes flying around in the frontcourt and that is a dream scenario for a large portion of the fan base.
Obviously, there will be plenty of time to discuss scenarios but, at this early juncture, what say you?