The Atlanta Hawks have been tied to many different players over the past few weeks with the 2014 NBA Draft approaching. The latest? 7 foot power forward/center Kristaps Porzingas, according to DraftExpress.
This one is fairly confusing in my opinion because the Hawks seem to have bigger needs on the wing and while Express has Rodney Hood going at 13 in this mock, I don’t think Atlanta would pass on T.J. Warren–projected No. 20 to the Toronto Raptors.
However, it would make some sense if Danny Ferry believed that Kristaps Porzingas was a high-upside player in the long term. According to our own Brad Rowland, Porzingas would need to bulk up and adjust his current game before seeing success in the NBA:
The 6-foot-11, 220-pound big man seems to be identified as a power forward at this stage, and he has been widely praised for his athleticism, shooting acumen and ability to defend multiple positions with great length. However, Porzingis seems to fit the European stereotype of a player who needs to add bulk and toughness, and there seems to be little consensus as to what type of role would fit him at the NBA level.
Another thing to consider when discussing potential forward/center draft choices is the contract of Paul Millsap. He’s got one year left on his contract with the Atlanta Hawks and while it would be great to see him around for a longer period, he has put up big numbers this year (career bests in points per game and assists per game) and might be looking to get paid in free agency.