NBA Draft 2014: Staff picks for the Atlanta Hawks


After reading our draft preview you have now been well informed on what direction the Hawks might go with their first round selection tonight in the 2014 NBA First Year Player Draft. We also detailed a few trade scenarios where the Atlanta Hawks could be making some moves tonight. All that aside, it is now time for predictions. Who do we, the editors and writers of ATL All Day think the Hawks should go with tonight?

Carlos Collazo

Gary Harris | Guard | Michigan State

I was tempted to agree with Eric Graff and go with James Young, but his patronizing UK presence on twitter (along with defense) has led me to Gary Harris, along with Brad Smith. Like most of you should know by now, I’m far from an NBA expert, but I love the idea of the Hawks adding a player who can help improve the team’s defense. It got pretty old watching the Hawks try to outscore everyone each night, and aside from DeMarre Carroll, there was no great defender on the team (correct me if I’m wrong). I know Budenholzer and Ferry are big on having an excellent shooting team, but at some point you’ve got to stop the guys you’re playing from scoring as well right? Pencil me in for Harris if that’s what he can do for a player projected around No. 15.

Eric Graff

James Young | SG | Kentucky

I think Young would be a great pickup for the Hawks. He can do a little bit of everything on the court. He has a smooth left handed stroke from the outside that will only improve with more practice.  He shot with little effort from the 3 point line in college and should have no problem transitioning to the NBA 3 line. Not afraid to take the big shot or shoot while heavily guarded.  He has sneaky athleticism as evidenced by his monster dunk against UConn in the Final Four last season.  Young was not great on defense in his single season with Kentucky, but he was only a freshman and I think has a lot of upside in that area.  He is very long which should help him in the future with his defense.  He also rebounds pretty well for a guy his size, even in traffic. Worst thing about Jimmy Buckets(yeah, even his nickname is cool) is his passing ability.  Probably the worst wing passer I have seen at UK during Calipari’s tenure there.  He also can have a suspect shot selection at times.  No question though, the kid can score and score in bunches.

Brad Smith

Gary Harris | Guard | Michigan State

Gary Harris is a guard from Michigan State that I feel will come in a contribute right away under Budenholzer’s system. The Hawks need a wing player that will come in and add a defensive presence in the backcourt. While playing for the Spartans, he was a great player for a favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. Averaging 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assist with 1.8 steals per game. Will be an addition to the backcourt of Atlanta.

Ben Pace

James Young | SG | Kentucky 

Hawks need a lot of help shooting the ball in my mind, since so many times I watched them shoot under 40% for the game. Young would be a great asset on the wing. He can shoot from deep, he meets the size requirements at 6’6″ 215, and he’s got a solid defensive upside. Plus I think he’s the type of guy that hasn’t really hit his peak yet. He can continue to improve a lot at the next level.

Fletcher Keel

Elfrid Payton | PG | Louisiana Lafyette 

Guard, ULL. This would be more of a “it’d be cool to see,” pick as opposed to one that makes sense. He comes from the Sun Belt and helped lead them to the SBC Tourney Championship and a game vs. Creighton in the big dance. He’s small, (6-3, 180) but is a mini-Chris Paul in the sense that he loves to spread the wealth around, plus he’s not afraid to get in the paint and take a ball off the glass. He has a lot of heart, and with guys like Tegue and Millsap, I think Payton’s spirit would do well on the Hawks court.

Brad Rowland

James Young | SG | Kentucky

He is young and athletic with big-time size and a good jump shot. Young probably possesses the highest upside available with the 15th pick, and if he’s there, it would make a ton of sense.

Steven Zymkowitz

Zach Lavine  | SG | UCLA

The Hawks will be sitting pretty tonight, their chair resting comfortably in the select the best player available mode in an extremely deep draft. The Hawks have the luxury of potentially having someone fall right into their laps, or perhaps get a player they have been eyeing throughout the entire process. In this particular scenario I have the Hawks picking Lavine out of UCLA. Lavine is an extremely gifted athlete and I see a lot of Klay Thompson in him. Someone that already shoots the ball well, and could improve. Lavine is the type of wing player that could really fit into any offense, but might thrive in the Hawks system. If Lavine is still available for the Hawks at 15, they should grab him.

Well there you have it, we have spoken, and unfortunately we cannot be united on who the Hawks select, but perhaps when the Hawks are on the clock at 15 the story may be a little more clear. Interestingly enough, we have all suggested that the Hawks go with a back court player, which would make sense given the organizational depth chart.

Keep it tuned in all night to ATL All Day as we will have coverage and analysis of all the Hawks moves, no matter how active they are tonight!