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Mock draft roundup: Will Hawks take Doncic, Ayton or Bagley?


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The Hawks had the worst record in the NBA entering Monday. If the Hawks finish last — and FiveThirtyEight.com’s most recent projection says they will — they’ll have the best odds to win the No. 1 pick and would be select no worse than fourth overall. The Hawks also own the rights to first-round picks from the Timberwolves and Rockets if those teams make the playoffs—and right now FiveThirty Eight gives both teams a better than 99 percent chance of doing so.

Here’s a rundown of which players some recent mock drafts predict the Hawks will select.

Ricky O’Donnell, SBNation

No. 1: Luka Doncic, 6-8, SG/SF, Real Madrid

Writes O’Donnell: “Luka Doncic might be the best player in Europe right now. Not the best prospect — best player. The 18-year-old is an advanced stats monster, leading Euroleague in BPM, posting a sterling 65 percent true shooting percentage, and saving some of his best games for the biggest competition.”

No. 24 (via Timberwolves): Mitchell Robinson, 7-0, C, Chalmette (La.) High

Note: Robinson enrolled at Western Kentucky University but left campus before playing in a game. He later was granted a release from WKU but ultimately decided to prepare for the draft on his own rather than play elsewhere.

No. 27 (via Rockets): Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia

NBADraftNet

No. 2: Marvin Bagley III, 6-11, PF, Duke

This pick has been unchanged since early in the season. Analyst Evan Tomes lists Chris Bosh as Bagley’s NBA comparison and among his strengths cites size, athleticism and “tremendous coordination and fluidity.” Tomes says Bagley’s weaknesses include ball handling, decision-making and leadership.

No. 25 (via Timberwolves): Grayson Allen, 6-5, SG, Duke

No. 29 (via Rockets): Allize Johnson, 6-9, PF, Missouri

Jonathan Givony, ESPN.com (Insider)

 

No. 2: DeAndre Ayton, 7-foot, C, Arizona

In his previous mock draft, Givony had the Hawks selecting Missouri freshman Michael Porter No. 4 overall. ESPN’s BPI now projects the Hawks to finish second in the lottery and Givony’s latest mock draft predicts the Hawks will take Arizona freshman Ayton. Writes Givony:

“The Hawks are not in a position to draft based on need at this stage of their rebuilding effort, and there are question marks about how well promising big man John Collins fits in alongside another center who doesn't protect the rim at an elite rate. Nevertheless, Ayton has elevated himself into the conversation as a top-two pick with his incredible natural physical tools and high skill level.”

No. 26 (via Timberwloves): De’Anthony Melton, 6-3, PG/SG, USC

No. 29 (via Rockets): Melvin Frazier, 6-6, SF, Tulane

No. 32: Rodions Kurucs, 6-8, SF, FC Barcelona

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report

No. 1: DeAndre Ayton

Writes Wasserman: “(Trae) Young and Doncic will be in play, but their questionable positional athleticism could be the reason Atlanta leans toward Ayton. The Hawks should bite on Ayton's sales pitch, which includes textbook tools, quickness and bounce, high-level production and fit for Atlanta's roster.”

No. 25 (via Timberwolves): Jontay Porter, 6-11, C, Missouri

Note: He’s the brother of fellow Mizzou freshman Michael Porter Jr., who is expected to be a lottery pick. Writes Wasserman: “Porter would benefit from another year at Missouri, though he may be tempted to leave if his brother declares and first-round interest exists. He's drawing attention for his mix of shooting (1.1 threes per game), shot-blocking (2.2 blocks) and passing IQ (16.8 assist pct.), even if there are questions about his athleticism, which could show around the rim and perimeter on defense.”

No. 28 (via Rockets): Trevon Duval, 6-2, PG, Duke

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.