NBA Draft 2015: Atlanta Hawks and Kevon Looney


The 2015 NBA Draft is right around the corner, starting next week on Thursday, June 25th, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

After a great, yet ultimately disappointing season for the Atlanta Hawks, fans are no doubt anxious to see what off-season trades the Hawks will make, as well as how what selections will be made by the team in the draft.

RELATED: Will Paul Milsap Go Back To Utah?

The Atlanta Hawks will have the 15th pick in the 1st round, and picks 50 and 59 in the 2nd round of this year’s NBA Draft, but the question that generates tons of mock drafts, propels analysts to make crazy assertions and drop rumors like popcorn through a dense forest is – what are the real needs of the Atlanta Hawks?

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The Atlanta Hawks proved a number of things last regular season. They proved to be underrated, they proved they play smart, have great coaching, can shoot the ball well, play well as a team, and move the ball really well.

What they weren’t able to do well was rebound. Oh sure, they dealt with some key injuries to key players that I still maintain cost them in the series against Cleveland, but the real culprit was just an inability to crash the boards to success when it mattered most.

With both DeMarre Carroll and Paul Milsap unrestricted free agents, it’s pretty obvious that the Atlanta Hawks need to address the issue of quality, rebounding personnel with any trades, and any picks in the coming NBA Draft. 

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In the coming days, we’ll take a look at a few profiles of some potential picks for the Atlanta Hawks, small and power forwards that could really help the Hawks soon, if not right away. We’ll start with Kevon Looney.

Kevin Looney isn’t a name that we’ve been seeing in tons of mock drafts for Atlanta so far, and he certainly hasn’t been on my own radar as I’ve tried to analyze some potential picks for the Hawks. Recently however, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports put out his 2015 NBA Mock Draft, and had Kevon Looney as the Hawks 1st round, #15 pick in the NBA Draft.

I should also add that Chris Roling, featured columnist for Bleacher Report also had Kevon Looney in his recent mock draft about a week ago, but still most are overlooking Looney as a potential pick for the Hawks.

Parrish had the following to add about Kevon Looney…

"Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA: Paul Millsap is a free agent, meaning the Hawks might need a power forward. So taking Looney makes sense because he’s A) immensely talented, and B) a future frontcourt starter."

Is he though? Is Looney immensely talented? Is he really a future frontcourt starter? Let’s take a look at some of Kevon Looney’s strengths and weaknesses, and then you decide.

We should note from the outset that Kevin is young, very young at just 19 years of age.

You may recall that he left UCLA and declared for the 2015 NBA Draft after just one season with the Bruins, and at 6’9″ and just 220 pounds, it would seem Kevin Looney clearly is in need of more physical strength as a professional power forward. At just 19, he probably needs some mental and emotional maturation as well.

NBA Draft: Positives About Kevon Looney

  • As just a freshman at UCLA, Looney averaged 11.6 ppg, but also averaged an impressive 9.2 rebounds per game as well. As I mentioned, rebounding prowess is something the Hawks definitely need.
  • Would fill a good need as a capable backup power forward off the bench early on.
  • Has great length (yes, a 7’3″ wingspan!) and defensive capabilities.
  • Is a good shooter, and would be a great fit alongside long shooters like Kyle Korver.
  • Low Cost
  • According to DraftExpress

"Looney has a great knack for crashing the offensive glass, showing terrific instincts and timing going out of his area and pursuing loose balls using his superior wingspan, often without even jumping. He shows a very nice competitive spirit here, boxing out well and not being afraid to mix things up with older and stronger players than him. His 4.2 offensive rebounds per-40 minutes ranks 11th best among Top-100 prospects."

NBA Draft: Negatives About Kevon Looney

  • Not a sound post-player, not being able to finish well.
  • Lack of speed and explosiveness.
  • Average ball-handler at best.
  • Tires Easily – It is well known now that Looney suffers from Asthma, and according to DraftExpress….

"Looney tends to tire fairly easily and often looks fatigued as the games move on, grabbing onto his shorts and really struggling with his effort and awareness. This was increasingly an issue as the year moved on, which may explain why his production took as much of a nose-dive as it did."

Clearly the positives for Looney outweigh the negatives, and many of his deficits can be erased with hard work, and a fit with the right team. The asthma situation will be a concern for any team, but none of us know how well Looney and his doctors are able to handle those issues at present.

All-in-all, I’m not sure that Kevon Looney is the best best for a 1st round 15th pick, and we all know that any players’ stock tends to rise and fall as we near the NBA Draft, but Looney is a worthy look for the Hawks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in an Atlanta Hawks jersey.