The Atlanta Hawks currently own the rights to three players, previously selected in the NBA Draft, still taking the floor overseas. With the 2018 NBA Draft quickly approaching, let’s take a look at how some of those past international investments are doing in their respective leagues.
Eriksson was a second round pick by the Hawks back in 2015 under the leadership of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox. At 6’5 and weighing in at 195 lbs. the 24-year-old Eriksson is coming off his best season yet with Barcelona.
In 36 games this season, Eriksson was able to boost his three-point shooting, a skill he was most noted for on draft night three years ago, to a blistering 48 percent on 5.5 attempts per game. Eriksson averaged nearly 13 points in just 22 minutes of action per game and was top 10 in many categories around the entire league.
He ranked 4th overall in three pointers made, 7th in overall field goal percentage, and was also 7th overall in points per game. The former No. 50 overall pick by the Hawks had an outstanding season and could potentially see the NBA sometime soon if he continues lighting the world on fire from beyond the three-point line.
In addition, Eriksson posted a strong performance this week against the recently anointed Euroleague Champions Real Madrid. Pretty impressive.
2015 Hawks draftee Marcus Eriksson had a big day: team-high 18 points (7/13 FG) in Gran Canaria's 88-78 upset win over newly crowned Euroleague champ, Real Madrid.— KL Chouinard (@KLChouinard) May 24, 2018
The Hawks selected Isaia Cordinier with the 44th overall pick back in 2016 but the young guard was unable to play this season due to major surgery. The Frenchman was sidelined due to surgery on both knees to relieve some serious tendonitis.
This obviously is not a great sign for the 21-year-old who possibly had a chance of playing in Erie this season had he not been injured. It is unknown when Cordinier will resume basketball activities and, by proxy, what his future holds on the floor.
Possibly the most intriguing prospect of the three international prospects is Alpha Kaba, who was selected by the Hawks just last season under Travis Schlenk in his first draft with Atlanta. After being the No. 60 selection in the Draft, Kaba signed overseas with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne who play in several different leagues around Europe.
Overall, Kaba didn’t have a ton of eye-popping numbers but he did play pretty solid for a 22-year-old. At 6-10 Kaba is considered a big and is a load in the box when he gets the ball.
He’s very long with a 7’5 wingspan and he runs the floor well, leading the Hawks to believe the tools are there for Kaba should he ever be able to put them all together. He had a fine showing in Summer League last season and stands to get another shot this year as he hopes to play his way into the NBA sometime soon.
Overall, the international prospects for the Hawks did well in their growth with the exception of Cordinier who was unable to play. It would appear Marcus Eriksson is making a strong push for consideration to at least join Atlanta’s G League team soon if, of course, he would like to do so.
We shall see who joins the Summer League squad and if the Hawks use any of these players as potential trade chips as they prepare for a pivotal upcoming draft.