Connecticut Huskies guard Shabazz Napier at a press conference after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Ford projects Shabazz Napier to Atlanta Hawks in latest 2014 NBA Draft mock

When the folks at ATL All Day last touched on the mock draft stylings of ESPN’s Chad Ford, Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic was the selection that was headed to the Atlanta Hawks. On Monday, Ford unveiled his “Mock Draft 9.0″, and in this installment, he projects Danny Ferry and company to select former Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier.

Here is what Ford had to say about Atlanta’s selection in his mock:

The Hawks like international players and Nurkic would be a strong possibility if he’s here. They’d also take a long look at Saric if he falls this far, though waiting two years might scare them away.

Kyle Anderson is another strong possibility here. Head coach Mike Budenholzer got to see first-hand how the Spurs used Boris Diaw. Anderson is the closest thing we’ve seen to him since Diaw entered the league, and the word is the Hawks are very high on him.

However, the Hawks are also not completely sold on Jeff Teague and could explore the market for him this summer. That’s led to them to take long looks at both Shabazz Napier and Payton at No. 15 if something materializes in the next few days. Napier, especially, seems to have gained momentum in workouts the past few weeks and sources say he’s moved into a strong possibility in Atlanta.

Seeing the Hawks linked to a point guard prospect is a bit surprising, simply because of the existence of both Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder, but Napier has been a fast-rising commodity in this year’s draft. Both Dario Saric and Kyle Anderson would be incredibly interesting, but as always, this is simply a mock draft and Atlanta is one of the hardest teams to project with their close-to-the-vest mentality.

Stay tuned.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks

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