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2020 NBA Draft roundtable: Which players should the Atlanta Hawks avoid at No. 6?

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Duquesne v Dayton Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The 2020 NBA Draft arrives on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and, before the big day, the Peachtree Hoops staff is collaborating on a set of roundtable topics. In the third installment, we check in with prospects the Atlanta Hawks should not select at No. 6 overall.

Note: Additional information on prospects can be found in our pre-draft scouting reports.


Brad Rowland: There isn’t a lot the Hawks could do at No. 6 that I wouldn’t understand. A lot of this class comes down to personal preference, combined with roster needs, and even guys that I don’t prefer would be defensible for Atlanta. If I have to pick a consensus top-10 pick that I wouldn’t love, I’ll go with Obi Toppin. Toppin is an exceptionally talented offensive player and, quite honestly, I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a good offensive player in the NBA as well. However, it is a tough sell for Atlanta, with Toppin having glaring defensive question marks, and a player (John Collins) already on the roster that might just be the best-case scenario for Toppin himself. It’s not as if the value for Toppin at No. 6 would be crazy, but it’s not the way I’d go for the Hawks with their current roster construction and my projection of Toppin’s (harmful) defense.

Wes Morton: Obi Toppin is definitely the guy to avoid among the projected top 8 or so, in my humble opinion. The fit next to John Collins in the frontcourt may work offensively and possibly even excel, but it has a chance to be catastrophic on the defensive end, as neither have a long record of contesting shots at the rim or posing resistance in pick-and-roll coverages. The selection could force the hand of the organization to move pieces, most likely Collins, to facilitate the overall success of the team. I personally love the high skill level and efficiency of Toppin in a vacuum — he’s in my top-5 — probably more than the non-front office consensus, but the fit, put mildly, is less than ideal.

Glen Willis: Obi Toppin is an obvious answer here unless the Hawks have already decided they don’t want any part of John Collins’ next contract. But, if folk think Collins has been a defensive project then they probably should want no part of Toppin. But, I actually think Toppin isn’t a realistic draft target in this range. Onyeka Okungwu would be an interesting pick considering how many centers they already have on the roster. But Atlanta, in my opinion, shouldn’t use the pick on him unless they are OK with him playing very few meaningful minutes this season.

Graham Chapple: Obi Toppin seems to be a popular choice but honestly anyone who would further clog the front court should be avoided, so that obviously throws Wiseman into the equation too (if he fell to No. 6 in the first place). It’s already a bit of a logjam up there... it doesn’t need any further complications.

Daniel Comer: I think most of us are in agreement on this one. Obi Tobbin was an incredible college player last season and I believe he’ll be a solid pro, but his skillset is too derivative of what the Hawks already have. There are some once-in-a-generation players that you draft regardless of need (looking at you, 1984 Portland Trail Blazers), but Tobbin isn’t that guy.

Rashad Milligan: Cole Anthony is my pick. But yes, as others have said for the sake of fit — Obi Toppin. Unless you flat out don’t expect to pay John Collins, then totally go for the best player in college basketball last season. The Hawks are in a position where they could use pretty much anyone available at No. 6.

Ryan Kerley: The popular answer here is Obi Toppin, and I agree. I also think Cole Anthony should be avoided, for the record. Toppin just does not fit well with Collins. They do a lot of the same things offensively and he is not a good defensive prospect. He is also 22. He is older than Trae Young. Let that settle in. He may have been the best player in college basketball last year, but he does not make sense for Atlanta.

Zach Hood: Obi Toppin and James Wiseman. Not to say neither of these players will pan out or be valuable commodities, Atlanta is just better off adding a more versatile prospect if they do pick at No. 6. They already have an offense-first four in John Collins, and ideally their center for the next three-plus years in Clint Capela. Extending down the board a little more, Kira Lewis is another player some have towards the top that the Hawks probably should avoid, mostly just due to size and position conflicts with Trae Young. For the sake of Lewis, hopefully he goes to a bad team that needs him to handle the ball for 30 minutes a night and develops.