Atlanta Hawks: Three second-round sleepers to target

The Atlanta Hawks have the 15th and 43rd overall pick in this year’s draft, and last week I previewed who they should take with the 15th pick. This week we’ll look at some possible second round sleepers that the Hawks could swipe up as a surprise.

Here are three players (that should be available at the 43rd pick) I think have the skill set to turn into very serviceable NBA players:

Russ Smith:russ smith

The Louisville point guard averaged 18-points per game to go along with 4.6 assists while shooting 38.7 percent from 3-point distance. I see Smith as a possible future sixth man who can come off the bench and be a spark plug. With Lou Williams entering the final year off his contract, maybe Smith with some growth and development could be a spark plug off the bench in 2015. Shelvin Mack will need to be resigned after next season and with Dennis Schroeder being in the midst of trade rumors swirling around Sacramento, adding a legitament threat in Smith could be useful (although point guard is not really a need).

Nikola Jokic:

The 6’11” 19-year old center from Serbia could be a possible pick the Hawks make. Jokic is very young and could possibly be one of those players Atlanta chooses to store overseas. Jokic averaged over 11-points per game and 6.4 boards in 25 minutes while playing in the Adriatic league (ABA). Jokic would provide good size to help an Atlanta front court that might need some big men after the 2014/2015 season when Paul Millsap and Pero Antic’s contracts run out. Jokic is an excellent passer which is a trait coach Mike Budenholzer wants all his big men to have and Jokic will only get better with more practice and age.

Ioannis Paparetrou:

The 6’8” small forward from Greece is an ideal fit for coach Budenholzer’s system. He is a good set shooter and a good cutter who is already polished beyond his years, as he just turned 20 years old. Paparetrou’s numbers while playing last season aren’t overly impressive (≈5PPG, ≈2 RPG in about 12 minutes per game), but his intensity on defense has left many coaches impressed. His defensive competitiveness has helped him make up for his slightly-subpar lateral movement on defense. He would help the Hawks add depth at the small forward position and he could even slide over and play the power forward position against smaller lineups.


One thing Danny Ferry has shown the city of Atlanta is that he is willing to look and draft oversees making Jokic and Paparetrou serious options. As far as Smith goes, something would have to happen on draft night, such as a trade of Schroeder or Mack, for Atlanta to even look at the point guard position.

As always, I want to hear from you, so comment below or tweet me @briangarcia0724!

Related articles:

Three potential draft targets for the Atlanta Hawks

Should the Atlanta Hawks trade up in the NBA Draft?

Atlanta Hawks: NBA draft primer

  • Justin

    Man those last two players gonna be scrubs, bruh