Atlanta Hawks: Don’t Expect Immediate Help From Draft

Kevin Seraphin is one of the "project" centers who might be available to the Hawks in the draft.

Kevin Seraphin is one of the project centers who might be available to the Hawks in the draft.

Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft watched dozens of college prospects throughout the season. When it ended, he was “excited” about the possibilities for the team’s No. 24 overall draft pick, figuring the Hawks would have several good prospects to choose from during the June 24 draft.

But then Pendergraft scrutinized Synergy Sports video and data, evaluated prospects’ workouts and interviews and took note of their physical measurements.

“Now, as things start to dwindle down, I’m really not so sure about that,” Pendergraft said today.

Pendergraft was fresh back from pre-draft workouts for 42 less-heralded prospects in Minneapolis this week. Of those players, Pendergraft said “a handful” were first-round material. With the Hawks picking near the bottom of the first round, those workouts plus the 23 prospects they plan to bring in between now and the draft are more important than the Chicago camp for top prospects (which have become less useful, anyway, with most players opting not to work out).

Pendergraft ranks the top five prospects, in order, as Kentucky’s John Wall, Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins, Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors and Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson. He said one or two of those players will face a steep learning curve but that all should be good players by the end of the season.

After those five, he said the draft becomes “very, very hard to predict” but he thinks teams can find rotation players as low as No. 20 in the order, depending on their needs. “If that player is a worker, by the All-Star break they will be giving you some minutes,” he said.

The talent drops off after those top 15 or 20. So unless the Hawks move up in the order, Pendergraft doesn’t expect this draft to be deep enough for the Hawks to find a player who’s ready to contribute now.

“I think we will get a piece,” he said. “I don’t think we will necessarily get a rotational piece. We can get a player who after some seasoning can stay in the NBA for a while, that can make a career out of it. If we can keep our roster intact I don’t see a lot of playing time. It will be a situation where we take advantage of our D-League affiliate.”

The Hawks have rarely used the D-League: Othello Hunter and Thomas Gardner played a couple games there in 2008-09 but that’s the only time in four years the Hawks sent their young players down to get burn.

Because of the low expectations for the 24th pick, Pendergraft said Joe Johnson’s future has no bearing on the Hawks’ draft preparations. They aren’t going to draft a wing player who can come in and play, anyway, so if Johnson leaves they’ll need to find a veteran to fill that role.

The Hawks were in the market for a shooter at the trade deadline and later had interest in signing free agent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Now they’d like to find a shooter or big man in the draft.

Word out of Chicago and Minneapolis was that the center group’s measurements were disappointing as a whole. “I think that happens every year,” Pendergraft said. “They never measure as tall as you want them to measure.”

At least one mock draft predicts the Hawks will select center Kevin Seraphin, who measured 6-9 without shoes and has a 7-3 wingspan.

“Unfortunately, the big bodies that fall to us will be more in the project range,” Pendergraft said. “You have to look at NBA free agents [at center] and say they probably are a better way to go. But if we are going to pick a skill, a need, we need one more shooter.”

Is this draft deep with shooters?

“No,” Pendergraft said. “That’s the [freakin'] problem. There are bunch of guards but not a lot of shooters. There are some good players but they can’t make shots. And the better shooters can’t play a lick of defense.”

The next important evaluation period for the Hawks is another pre-draft camp in New Jersey June 9-11. The Hawks will start bringing in prospects for workouts on Jan. 13 and continue to do so up until June 22.

“Coming into this thing I thought there would be maybe six or seven guys there at [No. 24],” Pendergraft said. “Now that’s shrunk a little bit to maybe three or four. But you never know. The good thing is it’s not going to make or break us because we’ve got good players coming back.”


326 comments Add your comment


May 28th, 2010
5:29 pm


May 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

Geez…draft not looing so good for the Hawks now


May 28th, 2010
5:33 pm


And Third!!!!


May 28th, 2010
5:34 pm

Congrats Simpdawg…I’m second.


May 28th, 2010
5:35 pm

I still think there will be a player or 2 drafted between 20 – 30 that’s gonna have impact next year, there usually is…hopefully the Hawks can lock in and make a solid pick


May 28th, 2010
5:35 pm

Actually, I’m not Jack S#*t….go Hawks!

nunnna yo biznezz!!

May 28th, 2010
5:38 pm



2 Duke Crews BSU Sr. F 6-8 Hampton, VA
25 James Dillard JCSU Sr. F/C 6-5 Apex, NC
Yes they listed dillard as a forward/center,lol..its the ciaa folks..they have ballers too!!


May 28th, 2010
5:40 pm

Damn, bleak words from our Asst. GM. I was hoping we could land a bonafide 7 Ft. Center, maybe trade down for Jerome Jordan or snag Brendan Haywood as a Free Agent. As for that shooter he’s reffering to, what about Sergei Gladyr? Any word on if he will join our squad next year? Also, wat are the chances the Hawks will try to sign a Restricted FA like Rudy Gay or C.J. Watson?


May 28th, 2010
5:46 pm

I say again, trade up or trade out.


May 28th, 2010
5:50 pm

It would be nice if we had a coach that could take part in the draft evaluation process since he would be the one responsible for developing that player’s career…


May 28th, 2010
5:50 pm


Why trade down, if you like someone & they’re there,
just draft him.

Gladyr is doing great in Euro. Word is Hawks want him
to spend one more yr. over there before bringing him over.


May 28th, 2010
6:11 pm

not a very deep draft.


May 28th, 2010
6:24 pm

Well Shellhead actually got in a playoff game day before yesterday. Promised at number 5. Chills in Greece. Marvin in never-ever-land at 2. Talk about your missed opps.


May 28th, 2010
6:27 pm

Pedergraft is either playing coy or just has a bad attitude
and does not enjoy his work. One can find players @ 24
and after – if they work @ their job. [S A Spurs] Let us hope
he’s just playin’ poker.

People wonder why fans don’t come out:
Well, as far as the draft, he really got us pumped up. Yeah…right?
Then he talks about bringing in a vet. [with our budget?]
Anyone excited about:
Adonal Foyle ?
Patrick O’Bryant ?
John Brockman ?
Steve Novak ?
Cartier Martin ?

I’m glad he [Pendergraft] thinks we will find rotation help
with a veteran FA. Maybe another ‘Cheeseburger’.


May 28th, 2010
6:27 pm

Based on our assistant GM comments, I will be very disappointed if all the hawks sign in free agency is some guys for the veterans minimum. Or guys at the tail end of their career.

That being said, how is it that teams like the spurs and jazz always find guys who can contribute in the lower end of the round?

I'm a clown

May 28th, 2010
6:29 pm

Can the Hawks go back in time and take Chris Paul instead of Marvin Williams..??????

Delbert D.

May 28th, 2010
6:31 pm

If Favors goes at #3, don’t expect much beyond #2.


May 28th, 2010
6:36 pm

It’s the Hawks. WHO CARES???

Now pardon me, I have to rewind my VHS tapes.


May 28th, 2010
6:41 pm

Really, after so many years of mediocrity by grossly overpaid lazy players who quit in this years playoffs, do the Hawks owners think that anyone will show up at the arena next season?

You’ve got to be kidding. The Hawks are so irrelevant now that it’s almost funny to think that anyone would pay good money to watch these lazy, incompetent goons play. And I use the word “play” very loosely.


May 28th, 2010
6:43 pm

After reading this article, it is easy to understand why there is so little confidence in the drafting ability of the Hawks.

Everyone has confidence in the GM of the Falcons to know what to do at draft time, but we have to endure the Hawks sounding defeated.


May 28th, 2010
6:45 pm

There are gems @ 24 + duds before & after.
Work / scout / love your work / love the game.
Sometimes good / great players
are not ready made – “Coach ‘em up” !
What’s this: [pendergraft again]
“good shooters that can’t play defense” [paraphrase]
You find a great shooter – then – ‘motivate’ !
Look @ Redick, they claimed he couldn’t defend.
Now…he’s not ‘Pippin’ but, he is an NBA player
that contributes, on an elite team.
Can you tell, I was not pleased with DP’s attitude.
Alot different from Dimitroff.


May 28th, 2010
6:46 pm

The picks after ~20 rarely become rotation players. This is nothing new.

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
6:47 pm

I’ll assume Pendergraft was being coy.

Otherwise, this isn’t something you want to hear from anybody involved in decision-making for the team.

Whatever happens, they aren’t likely to pick a guy that any of us wants to see us get. ‘Tis the nature of being a fan….

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
6:48 pm

Nire ,

True that.


May 28th, 2010
6:51 pm

Seems like all the good teams seem to find players in the late first round. And when the Hawks have a higher pick, they waste it anyway. Why not draft a European guy that needs another year or two overseas. Then he can help out in a year or two. Better than wasting (or worse, selling) the pick. Sounds like they are setting up the fans for the sale of this pick.


May 28th, 2010
7:01 pm

Big Ray – I understand being coy & I hope that was his plan.
However, one can play poker with his colleagues and yet
talk to his constituents leaving them with hope & promise.


May 28th, 2010
7:05 pm


’tis rare to find a gem but even moreso to win the championship.
I want winners running the show & running the floor.
Call me an idealist – I’m okay with that.

Mike Woodson

May 28th, 2010
7:14 pm

Billy Knight could get this done!!


May 28th, 2010
7:16 pm

Big Ray . . . all the man was doing, was saying what everybody else has said about this draft. It is very top heavy, but falls off considerably as you get past the #10 pick. He’s not sharing any information that people don’t already know.


May 28th, 2010
7:21 pm

There are a few young men in this year’s draft who could have an immediate impact for the hawks in 2011. They are smart high IQ basketball players. A good GM would know how to identify these young men. Dimitroff is a find example of a GM who has the insight to determine how well a young man will perform at the next level.

For players to exceed at the NBA level and to become champions they most have certain attributes about themselves:

1) he has prowess(don’t be intimidate by players at the next level)
2) he puts the team before himself
3) he’s 80% and above free throw shooter
4) he’s a 43% FG shooter.
5) he doesn’t force shots
6) he creates scoring opportunities for his teamates
7) he puts in the work at the gym.
8) he study his opponents
9) he keeps his composure during games
10) he understands being a smart basketball player is the best weapon to defeat his opponents.

If Sund can identify these players he will build a dynasty in Atlanta in a few years.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 28th, 2010
7:22 pm

Way to set yourself up for failure. Nice built-in excuse you’ve concocted for yourself, Hawks management.

Five bucks says someone taken after #24 makes the All Rookie Team. It happens every year and it will happen again, probably after Sund drafts the next Saer Sene.

Billy Knight

May 28th, 2010
7:23 pm

Dang, asst. GM Pendergraft dropping the “F” bomb in this article…….I maybe anti-social and a bad GM but even I did not drop the F bomb in a quoted article…….

Dennis G. Berdanis

May 28th, 2010
7:46 pm

All I got out of this article is what a lousy asst. GM we have. Hope Sund can find some talent at 24. As others pointed out the Celts, Magic, Lakers and Spurs always seem to find people who can play at those draft spots.


May 28th, 2010
8:00 pm

This coming from the same team that selected Sheldon Williams in the Lottery and chose Marvin Williams @ #2 over Chris Paul and Derron Williams, when point guard was (and still is) their biggest need. LOL.


May 28th, 2010
8:02 pm


Dang! You HOT man! You HOT!

So, many BLOGS …. So little time!


May 28th, 2010
8:03 pm

Maybe one of these:

* Greivis Vasquez
* Jerome Jordan
* Soloman Alabi
* Ryan Richards
* Dex Pittman
* Jon Scheyer
* Damion James
* Brian Zoubek
* Jarvis Varnardo
* Craig Brackins
* Ryan Wittman
* Mikhail Torrance
* Terrico White
* Jordan Crawford
* Marqus Blakely
* Hamady N’Diaye

They will all probably be available @ 24.
There are positives about & for each one!
Personally – Greivis Vasquez -
may turn out to be the best player in the bunch.
I’m ‘-not-’ gonna take Najeh up on that bet,
but if he’s right, my money’s on GV.


May 28th, 2010
8:04 pm

don’t you mean june, not jan.?


May 28th, 2010
8:06 pm

Hawks current rotation ( without JJ )



So the current holes with that lineup, is at wing ( shooter ), another big man ( center or PF ), possibly a playmaker at PG, and a slasher/defender at SF

LOL . . and that shows you how important JJ is to the Hawks. He’s functions as the shooter, the slasher/defender at SF, and the defacto PG.


May 28th, 2010
8:08 pm

D3 After Dark

Just reported that Miami can pay the G4 – Summit TEAM …. $14 Million per player &
Pat Riley would be the Coach!

Now, isn’t that tampering?
Also, word on the street is Joe has previously already indicated NO desire to play for
Pat Riley. Something how hard he runs his players in practice.
I heard they do grueling 2 – a – days!

His, players are too tired when the games come around?

I don’t know if this is true, but $14 Million/year/person?
Sounds like tampering to me.


May 28th, 2010
8:09 pm


You HOT man! You HOT! (Like D-Wade’s right hand).

I was secretly thinking, “Why not interview Brian Shaw?” For the Hawks vacancy.
I saw a silhouette of Brian sitting on the Laker’s sidelines vs the Suns at Game 3.

I didn’t even know he was still in the League? I was also wondering why more teams don’t run the vaunted TRIANGLE offense? Is their a patten on it or something? I mean like, is it copyrighted?

Good job! Ramon!


How are you! Thanks for the link the other day. A really good read. I like Battier too!
No way Houston let’s him get away – you think?

Sans Bosh – I think the G3 Summit all return to their teams! Joe being the most likely of the 3 to walk. Maybe Gearon knows something re: that for him to make the tampering statement?


May 28th, 2010
8:13 pm


Gary Coleman dead at 42? Brain hemorrhage – wow! That guy had one tough life from start to finish.

Maybe, he can have some peace now. I really feel for him and his family. I grew up in his era of great TV shows! I cant even watch half the stuff on TV now. Thank God for sports! I got like 999 channels but only watch sports, seems like I am due a refund for the Direct TV people.


May 28th, 2010
8:13 pm

typo : from the Direct TV people.


May 28th, 2010
8:27 pm


Are extremely serious injuries! Due to the contra-cous syndrome (I.E. The brain slams against the opposite wall of the cranial vault – (skull) )

Now – Marquis Daniels concussion was really weird. He ran into Gortat’s chest but his head never hit the chest.that is classic contra-cous! But, I’m thinking his dred-locks caused that injury. Maybe he should see a barber and cut them things off! I can’t LOL because it’s a serious injury – but, can I just
-sniggle- a little bit?

Get Well Soon – Baby & Marquis! Go Celtics! I pick them to win in 7. No way, they lose 4 in a row.

Whopper Dawg

May 28th, 2010
8:29 pm

i have never expected help from a Hawks draft, and have rarely been disappointed.


May 28th, 2010
8:31 pm

With the Gearon Fine & The Hawks being so broke?

They might have to put Mr. Johnson on Lay – Away to re-sign him.


May 28th, 2010
8:38 pm


Great job on that list. There may be a dark horse in there somewhere.
Heck, Gilbert Arenas was picked in RD 2 (I think?)
Dennis Rodman wasn’t even drafted at all. (If I’m not mistaken)

You can never give up when they say the draft is weak.
We shall see in a couple of years from now.


May 28th, 2010
8:45 pm

I would really like to see the Hawks trade Josh Smith to the 76ers for the 2nd pick in the draft and take Cousins to play at Center next to Al at the PF position… Sign and trade with the Knicks for Joe Johnson, we take David Lee in return… Then we would have Al, Cousins, Lee, and Zaza as a nice rotation at the 4 and 5 spots… I would draft Poindexter at 24… I’m not so sure we shouldn’t try a trade Crawford too as he has nice value right now… I’ll bet we could trade Crawford to the Bulls for Lou Deng.


May 28th, 2010
9:07 pm

How about Cenk Akyol? I think he’s playin for Turkey. Not sure if he is still at the point or shooting guard tho….


May 28th, 2010
9:18 pm

As I understand it, the patent on running the triangle is brains. Your mental ability has to be up there to know how to run it. If you don’t have a good hoops IQ, you run the square ;-) or the ISO…I can stand and watch Joe or Jamal dribble.

If Tex Winter can fill 5 hrs just talking Triangle, he must speak
e x t r e m e l y
s l o w

or repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat a lot of things

or it just might take some thought to run it well.

As for the draft, there is always a diamond in the rough. The real question is always do you have a good enough prospector to find the diamonds?

WWSD (What will Sund do?)


May 28th, 2010
9:30 pm

Let’s go Celtics!

Got nothing but love for little Nate. Smallest guy in the league, beat up on Hawks all season, traded to Boston in hope that they match up with Hawks in playoffs. Didn’t happen. Got no playing time in Boston, and now with Rando out, he is making an impact.