Atlanta Hawks: Grading the draft

With the 15th pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected:

Adreian Payne (Power Forward, Michigan State):

Rodney Hood, James Young, Gary Harris and Kyle Anderson were all still on the board, but the Hawks elected to go with the power forward from Michigan State. The 6-foot-10 Payne is a great player and has a great story. Payne averaged 16.4 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds per game. Payne will fit right in with this Atlanta team that is stacked with good 3-point shooters, as Payne shot over 42 percent last year from three.

The only question mark behind this pick is what does this mean for Hawks forward Paul Millsap? Millsap is entering the final year of his contract and was reportedly shopped at the trade deadline last February. If Atlanta really likes what they see from Payne, it is likely for the Hawks to shop Millsap once more before his contract expires and likely walks.

Considering Young, Hood, Harris and Anderson were all available at the time, this pick’s grade will take a hit. The Hawks really needed to add NBA ready talent on the wings and they failed to that.

C+

With the 43rd pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected:

Walter Tavares (Center, Spain):

This was a steal of a pick. Tavares is a 7-foot-2 center from Spain with a 7-10 wingspan. Yes, you read that right! Tavares averaged six points and 6.8 rebounds in 20 minutes per game in the ACB league. He didn’t start playing basketball until he was 18, and has been developing since.

While it is certainly unknown whether Tavares will be in Atlanta next season or in Spain, as Tavares recently signed a three year deal with Gran Canaria in Spain. Odds are Lucas Nogueira will return to the Hawks this season so there is no serious hurry to bring Tavares in. He will likely be held overseas and brought in within a few seasons.

Due to the fact that Tavares might not make an immediate impact, his grade will get cut down a little.

A-

The Hawks traded a future second round pick to the Milwaukee Bucks for the 48th overall pick which was:

Lamar Patterson (Shooting Guard, Pittsburgh):

The Hawks needed to address their depth on the wings and Patterson will provide that depth. Patterson is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who averaged 21.0 points and 5.2 dimes in his senior year at Pittsburgh. He’s reportedly hard working and with the right attitude coach Budenholzer will try to convert him to the next level. Pretty solid pick by the Hawks as Patterson will be used as a role player this season, but I can’t really see him developing into more than that.

B-

Although Patterson helps address the wings, the Hawks didn’t add depth at the small forward position. Because of this, I would say it was a disappointing draft for the Hawks. They added a good amount of talent though and Hawks fan should be excited going forward.

Related Articles:

Atlanta Hawks: Three second-round sleepers to target

Atlanta Hawks: Full mock draft