A recent mock draft from Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation projects Jaren Jackson Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick, much in the way that many others have. With any mock draft over the next three weeks, the most attention will be paid to the team’s lottery selection but, following the addition of Jackson Jr., the Hawks added an intriguing duo of hyper-athletic guards that could be fun to follow.
At No. 19, the Hawks snatched prep-to-pro guard Anfernee Simons.
Simons was once projected as the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft by ESPN before declaring for this draft as a fifth year high school player. The 6’4 guard is super athletic with the ability to hit pull-up jump shots. He badly needs to hit the weight room.
Simons was originally listed as a participant in Atlanta’s pre-draft workout on Tuesday, though he was removed shortly thereafter. As noted by O’Donnell above, Simons is incredibly athletic and profiles as a potential primary option on the offensive end if everything breaks perfectly.
With that said, he is the epitome of a boom or bust pick at this stage, with a lot of physical growth to endure and a development process that could stretch over multiple years. Simons will almost certainly be picked in the first round, though, and the Hawks have the potential luxury to give him a long leash from a development standpoint, simply due to the nature of the rebuild.
At No. 30, the Hawks added another (very) athletic player in Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie.
Okogie is another combine winner. He’s a high motor, two-way wing who makes up for his lack of height (6’4) with a 7-foot wingspan. He hit 38 percent of his threes each of his first two years at Georgia Tech.
Okogie didn’t always play with the burst and force outlined by his measurables but, in the same breath, he is a tantalizing defensive prospect. Beyond that, he has considerable offensive upside and, after the draft combine, many believe he is now a likely first round pick.
With that on the table, it almost feels unlikely that Okogie will be on the board at No. 30 overall, though it certainly isn’t impossible. Given the presence of Jackson Jr. at the top of this mock scenario, the defensive possibilities would be endless and, to that end, it actually makes even more sense that Simons would slot in between the No. 3 selection and Okogie, given his offensive ceiling.
What say you?