The 2018 NBA Draft is nearly here and, before it arrives on June 21, the Peachtree Hoops staff gathered in roundtable fashion to answer a few pertinent questions. In the fifth installment, our writers examine and recommend options for the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 19 overall pick.
Brad Rowland: There is a semi-plausible scenario in which a player like Robert Williams, Kevin Knox or Zhaire Smith slips to No. 19 but I can’t project that. Within reason, my targets would be Oregon’s Troy Brown, USC’s DeAnthony Melton and, if you’re feeling frisky (with Luka Doncic at No. 3, preferably), big man Mitchell Robinson. Brown is the only player regularly mocked in the 19 range and he is a skilled, high-basketball IQ player with only a shooting concern keeping him from the lottery. Melton is a potentially devastating defender with on-ball skills and a re-made jumper that brings his stock rising. Finally, Robinson is a boom-or-bust pick but he has lottery talent and has been in the wilderness after never setting foot on the floor at Western Kentucky.
Jeff Siegel: As I mentioned earlier, I’d be looking for guards and wings with No. 19, No. 30, and No. 34 in this draft, so getting a two-way wing at No. 19 would be my highest priority. USC’s DeAnthony Melton is my favorite of the guys who might be available here, but they’d be very happy with Oregon’s Troy Brown or Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans in this range as well.
Zach Hood: USC’s De’Anthony Melton, UCLA’s Aaron Holiday, Boston College’s Jerome Robinson and Oregon’s Troy Brown would all be solid with the No. 19 pick in my opinion. I’m not sure that they can’t get a similar talent at No. 30, though, which is why I hope they move up to 14 or 15 by reasonable means.
Glen Willis: Players somewhat likely to be available at that spot that offer enough value to select include Oregon’s Troy Brown, Maryland’s Kevin Huerter, Texas A&M’s Robert Williams (likely gone), UCLA’s Aaron Holiday and Boston College’s Jerome Robinson. They may very well be faced with drafting a player they had hoped would fall to them at No. 30 but end up taking him at No. 19 as to ensure they get the player they want.
Xavier Cooper: If the Hawks can somehow get Miami’s Lonnie Walker at No. 19, that would be really nice. He’ll probably be gone by them but if not they would be fools not to snag him. I also like Oregon’s Troy Brown. I love all the big men in this draft but the Hawks need more of those athletic guards and forwards similar to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum if they want to compete in a few years.
Sam Meredith: I trust Atlanta’s talent evaluators after the great heist (John Collins) last season in the draft. Personally, a guy like Kentucky’s Kevin Knox falling to No. 19 would just be ideal with most any backcourt players at 19 being a win as well. Don’t sleep on high school guard Anfernee Simons either. He is crazy athletic and super young.
Josh Lane: If Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo is available, then I could see the Hawks taking him and would recommend it.
Greg Willis: Someone projected to go in the top 15 is going to fall and be available for the Hawks at No. 19. Last year, OG Anunoby fell to No. 21, where the Raptors took him, while D.J. Wilson, T.J. Leaf, Harry Giles and Terrance Ferguson all went ahead of him. I suspect that one of Robert Williams, Kevin Knox or Troy Brown will be available at No. 19. If so, the Hawks should be very happy to get one of those players at that spot. If those three are gone before No. 19, Zhaire Smith and perhaps even Lonnie Walker would be in play. Regardless, the Hawks should get a very good player with the No. 19 pick, just as they did last year.