This is the Atlanta Hawks’ 2017 NBA Draft Strategy from Basketball Society. Below are each of the picks they own in the draft. Throughout this Draft Strategy Guide, we will be providing two prospects for each pick in the 1st Round and one suggestion for each of the picks in the 2nd Round that the Hawks should look into selecting come draft time.
2017 NBA Draft Picks:
1st Round Pick
2nd Round Pick (via Brooklyn)
2nd Round Pick (via one of Detroit, Utah, Golden State, and New York (if own pick is not from 56-60))
1st Round Pick (#17 as of March 30th):
John Collins (Wake Forest PF)
If you paid any attention to the ACC this year, then you are familiar with John Collins. If not, then you should familiarize yourself. Collins is a 6’10 power forward from Wake Forest who had a spectacular season. He rebounds the ball with the best of him, has a great touch around the rim, and has a great basketball IQ.
He’ll make the occasional play where you get up out of your seat, but don’t think his athleticism is anything to get excited about. He’s smart around the rim, but struggles to make plays with his back to the basket. Collins’s face up game inside the arc is what is so impressive, but the fact that he can’t make a shot behind the arc at this point is a bit concerning.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be able to make threes, though. Just check out the form on his jumper when he was shooting threes prior to a game this season:
(Video from Mike Schmitz’s Twitter (@Mike_Schmitz))
John Collins could be a nice frontcourt mate to Dwight Howard, especially if he develops a consistent mid-range and 3-point jumper.
Harry Giles (Duke PF)
The highly touted prospect out of high school had a very disappointing season for Duke. Hampered by injuries and in the back end of the rotation for Coach K, Harry Giles just wasn’t able to see the court as much as he wanted to this year. Even when he did find himself on the court, Giles didn’t impress nearly as much as scouts and Duke fans had hoped.
Admittedly, his stock dropped significantly because of his sub-par year and instead of finding himself in the talks for the 1st pick, we see him in the conversation for being picked in the back-end of the lottery. Still, there is no doubting the potential that Giles encompasses.
That is especially true when you see sequences like this from him:
Harry Giles is still a risky pick, but if he somehow falls to the Atlanta Hawks around that 17th pick, then they might have to take him. He, like Collins, could work well with Dwight. Even if Paul Millsap comes back, Giles could be a much-needed addition to Atlanta’s bench.
2nd Round Pick (via Brooklyn, #31 as of March 30th)
Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State PG)
People have referred to Jawun Evans as the next Chris Paul. I’m not ready to give him that acclaim yet, but there’s no doubting his abilities. He’s a very shifty guard who can create his own shot quite easily. He isn’t the best of decision makers, but is a talented point guard.
I think he has the capability of being a lock-down defender at the next level. He’ll probably have a similar role to what Isaiah Whitehead has in Brooklyn to start off if he is picked by a team like Atlanta until he fully matures.
To show Evans’s skill, just look at this play he made against Michigan in their match-up during the NCAA Tournament:
Evans would be a great back-up to Dennis Schroder who could eventually take over the starting job if he proves that he can lead the team.
2nd Round Pick (via Golden State, #59 as of March 30th)
Jeremy Morgan (Northern Iowa SG)
Jeremy Morgan is a very intelligent player who will not be talked about prior to the draft because of the school he went to. But, that doesn’t mean we should just look past him. If he can have an impressive NBA combine, he’ll begin to turn some heads and may slip into the back end of the draft.
Jeremy Morgan is a player who does not need the ball to be effective which bodes very well for an Atlanta team that loves to move the ball around. He’s a great off-ball screener and has the perfect size to be a shooting guard in this system.
Morgan only shot 40% from the floor, but did happen to shoot around 35% from deep which is quite impressive given the increased workload that he had in the Northern Iowa offense this year. If you just look at how he comes off screens and shoots the ball, you can clearly see NBA level potential:
You have to love how quick and fluid his release is. Obviously, there will be doubts regarding how effectively he can score the ball, but there shouldn’t be a concern for a team that ranked 2nd in the NBA in assists last year and is ranked in the top 10 yet again this year.
The main concern with selecting Jeremy Morgan will be that DeAndre’ Bembry is already on the team. I think Morgan would be more ready to step in and make an immediate impact for the team while Bembry still has a couple years before he will become someone that you can consistently stick in the rotation.
If Atlanta lets go of Paul Millsap and are unable to secure either Giles or Collins with their 1st Round Pick, then the smarter decision would be to go with a younger big man with this pick rather than selecting the soon to be 22-year-old Jeremy Morgan. But, if they are able to keep Millsap, then I think Morgan is a guy that Hawks fans would love to have.