Atlanta Hawks: Could these draft prospects help the Hawks later?

Yesterday I highlighted some draft prospects the Hawks believe have “NBA skills” that could be useful to them next season. Today, I’m looking at some long-term prospects the Hawks might draft at No. 24.

Understand that these lists aren’t meant to be complete, nor should they be considered endorsements. These are players I know the Hawks have considered from each pool. If you don’t see the player you want on these lists, it doesn’t mean the Hawks won’t draft them and it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I’m just trying to share what I know with my blog people, narrow the Hawks’ draft possibilities down a bit, and then let you explain why they have it ALL WRONG!!!

In the next post I will collect all of the final mock drafts in one spot. That way you can find those smart people who predict the Hawks will draft the guy you like.

Solomon Alabi has the size teams want.

Solomon Alabi has the size teams want.

Solomon Alabi, C, 7-1, Florida State

I think Alabi will be gone by the time the Hawks pick, and here’s why: He looks the part, and scouts and GMs tend to fall in love with those kind of guys even when they are as raw as Alabi. He weighed in at 237 pounds at the draft combine and he looked even bigger than that at the Hawks workout. The fact that he’s not expected to be taken in the lottery tells you how far he has to go.

“He’s a young kid [turned 22 in March],” said Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft. “You like the fact that he shoots [well] from the free-throw line. But you can tell he’s raw. He”ll be drafted in the first round, and in a perfect world he lasts a long time [in the league].”

One person who saw Alabi’s Haws workout described him as “mechanical” in his movements. So he’s not a fluid athlete but he’s certainly physically impressive.

“He’s huge and he’s a great guy,” Pendergraft said. “If you are looking for someone two or three years down the road to help you, he’s a candidate.”

NBADraft.net describes Alabi, a native of Nigeria, as a player who could potentially be the defensive-minded 7-footer the Hawks (and all teams) covet:

“[Alabi's] physical tools make him an excellent shot blocker on and off the ball, and a likely candidate for offensive tips and putbacks off misses. . . . There’s no arguing that he has the potential to become a defensive centerpiece for a team that lacks a presence in the paint.”

Kevin Seraphin, F/C, 6-9, France

A knee injury nearly caused Seraphin to pull out of the draft because he couldn’t participate on the workout circuit. He decided to stay in, probably a good decision since it looks like he’s pretty certain to be drafted in the first round. Seraphin met with the Hawks for several hours on Monday.

David Aldridge has an excellent draft preview series at NBA.com. Aldridge projects Seraphin as a power forward and, surprisingly, places him ahead of Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson in rankings that reflect “how ready players are to play the position which they are assigned.”

Aldridge quotes an unnamed Atlantic Division scout on Seraphin: “It’s a 100 percent fair comparison to Nene. He’s strong, he’s got big hands, got that athletic ability. Slightly mechacical. You know how Nene is. You can almost tell what he’s going to do. Seraphin might turn out to be a better rebounder. He tracks the ball. It’s going to take a while for this kid to get there [offensively]. Nene’s pretty good and this kid is going to turn out like that.”

Whiteside already is a good shot-blocker.

Whiteside already is a good shot-blocker.

Hassan Whiteside, C, 7-0, Marshall

Whiteside, who turned 21 earlier this month, played just one season at Marshall. Like Alabi, he’s a true 7-footer with potential so some team is going to take him and develop him. Whiteside led the NCAA with 5.3 blocks per game.

Whiteside worked out this week for the Bucks, who own the No. 15 pick. After the session, Milwaukee’s director of scouting, Billy McKinney, said it’d be a “stretch” for his team to draft Whiteside:

“A good shot-blocker, he’s still very raw. He’s pretty new to the game, but a guy that blocks a lot of shots, rebounds, there’s a lot of room for improvement and growth in his game.”

In an interview with NBADraft.net back in May, Whiteside said he worked with Hakeem to improve his defense, footwork and strength on the block.

Daniel Orton, C, 6-10, Kentucky

Just five days ago the Indy Star reported the Pacers might take Orton with the No. 10 overall pick. Then yesterday Yahoo! Sports suggested Orton might slide out of the first round because of a bad knee, poor conditioning and his reputation as a malcontent during one season at Kentucky.

I’m assuming the Hawks are still considering Orton. He canceled several workouts over the last couple weeks, leading to speculation he had a proverbial “promise” from a team, but the Hawks didn’t believe that’s the case. Nor did they seem too displeased that Orton didn’t make a stop in Atlanta (he finally ended up working out this week for the Pacers).

Orton turns 20 in August and played just 13 minutes a game at Kentucky. There’s also the aforementioned weight and attitude issues, which raises the twin red flags of work ethic and “coachability.” But he’s a big, strong dude with potential. He defends at the rim and actually has a nice jump shot. Some team will roll the dice on him.

Orton wrote a draft diary for the The Oklahoman and addressed his knee and his expectations but shed no light on the missed workouts.

MC

272 comments Add your comment

terrell

June 23rd, 2010
8:16 pm

I was just watching classic draft on NBA TV and saw Todd Fuller and Vitaly Potapenko get picked before Kobe. Wow! The draft is crazy.

terrell

June 23rd, 2010
8:20 pm

Of course we took Priest freakin Lauderdale at the end of the 1st that year. lol!

terrell

June 23rd, 2010
8:23 pm

If were going for long term, I’d move up a few spots and take Whiteside. Dont know how much he’d help next year though. But one things for sure, he cant be any worse than Zaza.

I MUS WRITE

June 23rd, 2010
8:30 pm

Just heard the ASG are try’n to sell our pick. Figures-theze guys are a bunch of clowns. There needs to be some type of rule put in place concerning “Net Worth+ when try’n to purchase a professional team. Then they wonder why the city doesnt support like they should….

Regression!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jp

June 23rd, 2010
8:33 pm

I hope they draft a SG cause Joe Johnson is gone

jp

June 23rd, 2010
8:34 pm

let me also add I’d rather not have Joe Johnson and start the rebuilding process around Horford and Josh and not give a max contract to a guy who can’t even score double digits in playoff games

JeJe

June 23rd, 2010
9:10 pm

LOL.

MC says 3 GREAT players who were taken at #24. I am expecting names like Manu or Aaron Brooks, who were both taken late in the 1st rd or 2nd round.

Instead, I see Sabonis and Derek Fisher.

Define “Great”

O'Brien

June 23rd, 2010
9:22 pm

Given the fact that Larry Drew is a first time HC, the Hawks may be without JJ, and the Hawks should be competing for a playoff spot (regardless of what JJ does), the Hawks should draft a guy who can help them now.

If we take Solomon Abai (who only averaged 6 rebounds per game by the way), it will be 2 or 3 years before he can contribute effectively.

Larry Drew may not even be the coach in year 3 if his option is not picked up. Lets draft an asset that the Hawks can use now. We need all hands on deck.

Melvin

June 23rd, 2010
9:27 pm

MC,

What about Craig Brackins? Did you get any feedback on him from the Hawks staff?

Astro Joe

June 23rd, 2010
9:34 pm

Preach on, OB. Let’s give our minimum wage coach the best chance to succeed with a player who will be ready to contribute by the All-Star game in February. And since we only have 3 bigs signed next season, I vote for a tweener (like Booker) or a 4/5 (like Brackins or even Pittman).

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
9:39 pm

Teams should pay attention to happened with Hasheem Thabeet last year. Dude was drafted #3, and got sent to the D-League because he needed major work. Imagine what you get at #24.

Now…that might work for a team that is young and building, and who already has a traditional starting center on their squad, that nobody is crying and whining about not being a true center. But a team like the Hawks? First, we have some “fans” who whine and cry about Horford like little girls with scabbed knees. Second, there are a few big centers in the league who outmatch him. Third, do we have time to develop a project over 2 or 3 years, that still may not turn out right?

It’s a risk. But hey, just about anything in the draft is. Ask the Greg Oden and the Blazers.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
9:42 pm

Astro and Melvin ,

I don’t like what I read about Brackins on draftexpress.com. Well, I like some of the offensive capability he seems to have, and the fact that he’ll grab some boards. But will he hustle and defend? I’m not knocking him as a pick, per se. But aren’t you at least a little apprehensive about a player who draftexpress says projects to be another Channing Frye (on the top end)?

I thought we didn’t need anymore softie bigs…

MannyT

June 23rd, 2010
9:50 pm

Channing Frye might be available as a free agent this summer. Might be soft, but he has developed range on his shot in Phoenix.

Melvin

June 23rd, 2010
9:54 pm

Ray,

I like his skill set. The guy has a variety of offensive moves that could make him a good scorer. Like you said, he’s already a good rebounder and as far as hustling, thats something Drew can make him do… So give me the guy with the skills over the guy with limited skills that you hope would develop over time…

vava74

June 23rd, 2010
9:57 pm

JeJe,

Your lack of bball knowledge was exposed by your latest post.

Sabonis was a terrific player and could have been one of the 10 best Centers in the history of the NBA if he had come to play to the league when the Hawks selected him in the 1985 draft.

That draft pick was disallowed and annulled because he was not 21 years old back then and he was later selected by the Blazers in 1986 with the 24th pick, being authorized by the Soviets to play in the NBA only in 1989.

However, he opted to play in Europe until 1995.

The fact that you only saw him come to the US after he was 31 years old and after blowing both his knees and his achilles, still managing to help take the Blazers to the WCF when he was 35 years old should be enough for you to know better.

FYI in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, in the semi-finals, he ATE David Robinson alive as if he was a little gold fish on his way to the gold medal.

Actually, I think you mentioned somewhere that you are only 21 years old, so you are far too young to know better, however, you should read and educate yourself before writing idiotic remarks.

As for Derek Fisher, you are talking about one of the all time clutch players in the history of the game, with many many game changing/saving/altering big shots in the playoffs (these finals included).

Aaron Brooks – for the moment – has not earned the right to even sniff Derek Fisher’s sweaty jocks, much less hold them.

Until you stop looking at boxscores and start looking at what is actually going on during the games, your commentaries will always be marked by lack of knowledge of the game to make them worth significant credit.

Melvin

June 23rd, 2010
9:57 pm

Manny T,

Get him in here….

vava74

June 23rd, 2010
10:01 pm

Ray

“I don’t like what I read about Brackins on draftexpress.com”

Ditto! I think it is pretty clear that when given the opportunity to take his game to a different level, from the scouting report it is easy to conclude that he did not deliver under pressure.

vava74

June 23rd, 2010
10:06 pm

Melvin, Manny T,

You are only suggesting that because nire is still recovering from his “injury” aren’t you?

You know that if he was 100% he would have already fired an extensive post exposing how weak defensively and rebounding wise Frye is AND how he will probably prefer to re-sign with PHO since he his literally at home there since he attended Arizona U.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:11 pm

Melvin ,

Not denying the kids offensive skills. Was curious as to your thinking on picking him, though. I’d really rather have a rebounder/defender, but I ain’t gonna cry one bit over a guy who has legit offensive skills and can rebound as well. He won’t protect the paint or the rim, so I guess we’d have to get ourselves someone in free agency for that.

But if he can stretch the floor some, clean the glass, and get us some buckets…like I said, I don’t have complaints. We just better upgrade the defensive side of things at that position through free agency.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2010
10:12 pm

From what little I’ve seen and read about them, it seems to me that Alabi and Orton are most likely to be able to guard Dwight Howard one on one among the players mentioned here. It’s debatable, though, whether either one will ever realize their potential.

Still think the guy the Hawks draft has to be the best player available. One of these guys may be intriguing because of the need for a big man, but if the Hawks are not confident that they can come in and contribute now, I’d rather see them pick a player at a different position who will give them good minutes from day one.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:13 pm

MannyT ,

No doubt. But Frye is somebody you get to be the yang to your “off the bench” yin defender. I’m about done leaving that up to Zaza….he doesn’t really fit the role of enforcer. Hard, sloppy foul on occasion? Yep. Defender of paint and rim? Nope.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:15 pm

I’d go for the guy who gives us the most right away, then take a project big in the second round (Dexter Pittman), where it will cost less money.

Long as it’s not another Euro player that we may never see again (Cenk Aykol) or that we never get any real use out of (David Andersen). Come on, we sold him off to Houston for cash. What did we do with the cash? Nuttin’!

Truthspitter

June 23rd, 2010
10:16 pm

Thanks for a intelligent post. Getting a big for a little over $1,000,000 is the way to go. There are other options but if Whiteside is there, there is no other option the guy will make the Hawks make a decision on rather its Josh or Al within 3 years and they need to make that decision. Finally, I think the Hawks are a garbage franchise and will sell this pick. They are a bunch of incompetent clowns that beg the fans to come to the games but they never respect any of the fans wishes. They chose the cheap route with Drew and now they will disrespect us again by selling this pick. We get our revenge when the season starts empty seats central. Stupid MF’s

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:17 pm

France’s Kevin Seraphin is the only international player who seems a lock to be taken in the first round. Big and rugged, the same name comes up over and over as a comparison for the 20-year-old: Nene, the Nuggets’ center, who needed time to overcome injuries and inexperience but is now one of the better pivots in the league. Seraphin is raw, but he’s got an NBA body already.

Said an Atlantic Division exec: “It’s a 100 percent fair comparison to Nene. He’s strong, he’s got big hands, got that athletic ability. Slightly mechancial. You know how Nene is. You can almost tell what he’s going to do. Seraphin might turn out to be a better rebounder. He tracks the ball. It’s going to take a while for this kid to get there [offensively]. Nene’s pretty good and this kid is going to turn out like that.”

Seraphin was uncertain about whether he’d stay in the Draft after suffering a slight meniscus tear in his during his French team’s playoffs, but the injury is not serious; he couldn’t work out for NBA teams that traveled overseas to see him earlier this month at the Adidas Camp in Italy, but he more than passed the eyeball test.

“I wasn’t disappointed in what I saw,” said a Southeast Division personnel man. “He can play some five [in the NBA] like Al Horford. I was not disappointed in the size. He was pretty thick.”

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:19 pm

Varnado will have to find a neighborhood Five Guys or In-N-Out Burger and camp there for a while.

Rail-thin at 210 pounds, Varnado’s incredible shot-blocking talent — he is the NCAA’s all-time leader, though it must always be pointed out that blocked shots stats did not begun to be compiled regularly until the 1970s — will not matter if he can’t put on enough weight to hold his position against grown men in the pros. But that great timing will give Varnado a chance, and he measured a legitimate 6-foot-10 in Chicago.

“Here’s what’s interesting about him,” says a Southeast Division scout. “He’s gotten better every year. He’s got a little jump hook. Left shoulder turn. What he’s realized is, he doesn’t try to do things that he can’t. He doesn’t expose himself.”

doc

June 23rd, 2010
10:31 pm

nire injured? how?

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2010
10:32 pm

Okay, here’s the deal: if we draft Varnado, then we have set him up at the same place Jason Collins eats…

STRONG HAWK

June 23rd, 2010
10:36 pm

PLEASE!!! TRADE THAT PICK WITH SOMEONE ELSE FOR AL JEFFERSON FROM THE WOLFS TO GIVE US SOME INSIDE PRESENTS .

JeJe

June 23rd, 2010
10:52 pm

“As for Derek Fisher, you are talking about one of the all time clutch players in the history of the game, with many many game changing/saving/altering big shots in the playoffs (these finals included).”

Thanks for defining “Great” just like I asked of MC. If Fisher’s clutchness makes him great, I guess Robert Horry is great too. How many All Star teams has Fisher made? That’s right – STFU and GTFOH. My sources tell me David Anderson was a stud overseas too. WTF has he accomplished in this league? Childress is a stud in Europe but is as average as can be in the NBA.

JeJe

June 23rd, 2010
10:54 pm

We need to get in on the Wolves right now. They are desperate to trade some of their picks or Al Jeff. I would also dangle Joe + Bibby or Smoove + Bibby for Chris Paul. Trade anyone on this team besides ZaZa, Horford, or Jamal since these guys play their roles well. People forget ZaZa averaged about 13 & 7 that one year when he actually got minutes

O'Brien

June 23rd, 2010
11:07 pm

Enter your comments hereJeJe,

Which source do you have that is telling you that Childress is a stud in Europe? Averaging 15 and 5 this year makes him a stud? Did you know he only averaged 9 and 5 last year in Greece?

Not to mention the reports that his Greek team wants him to leave and come back to the NBA so they dont have to play him. Why would they do that to a stud?

And we cannot trade Joe to the Timberwolves because he is an unrestricted free agent. That means he chooses where he wants to sign. And I’m pretty sure he is not going to sign with the T-Wolves.

Ray, Melvin,

Give me Booker. If we want Varnado, I think we should trade up in the second round to get him (only if we dont take a PF at 24). Maybe we take Damion Jones, who is willing to defend and rebound at the SF position.

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:10 pm

JeJe – c’mon;

Sabonis to Andersen…really now?
&
Derek Fisher has 5 rings (or is it 6 – ?)

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:13 pm

KQ:

Did those links [not] show?

That’s what I mean’t “under moderation”.

They showed up on my screen?

Holler back & I’ll try again.

JeJe

June 23rd, 2010
11:17 pm

“Derek Fisher has 5 rings (or is it 6 – ?)”

Adam Morrison has 2. So what?

There are plenty of studs in Europe who wouldn’t be anything in the NBA.

And I think the Greeks are pretty pleased with Childress. If your genius self had been following the ECONOMY lately, you’d know Greece is in massive debt, as is most of Europe. Consequently, they CANNOT AFFORD TO MAINTAIN THEIR PAYROLL.

Go read a book.

vava74

June 23rd, 2010
11:18 pm

Grandad,

Don’t waste too much time on JeJe, it seems that he missed the bit where Sabonis ate David Robinson alive…

Also, at the age of 31, with all his injuries (which were crippling to the point of him being a shadow of his own original self), as a rookie, averaged 20 and 10 during his first playoff series in the NBA.

Sabonis if healthy and if he had moved to the USA in 1986 would have averaged 26/27ppg 12rpg for his career easily.

As for Fisher’s commentaries, to define “great” as being selected to all star games is even more telling… lol!

doc,

nire had surgery to his shoulder or something like that so his typing is compromised.

O'Brien

June 23rd, 2010
11:19 pm

Should be “His Greek team does not want to play him”.

Knowledge Quest

June 23rd, 2010
11:21 pm

No Grandad I did not see the links. I do wish you’d post them again.

Section 303

June 23rd, 2010
11:24 pm

I am at a loss. I do not know who I want the Hawks to draft. Guess I would go with Serephin. He seems like he might have staying power. Though, I must admit, I know jacksh#t about the guy and have never seen him play.

I have seen Jordan Crawford play the most. I don’t see him being a long time NBA player. He was OK at IU. I think playing lesser competition at Butler helped make him look better than he really is.

The big kid from FSU looks like too much of a project. So does the kid from Marshall.

Wondering if the Hawks might surprise all of us and make a move tomorrow night? Anyone think Sund has something up his sleeve?

doc

June 23rd, 2010
11:30 pm

hence the respite from feeling his abuse.

sorry to hear of your misfortune nire, speedy recovery my man. i guess now is my time to heap it on as i will be killed in the future, good shoulder or bad shoulder i suck when it comes to typing. now where is my frigging pencil?

oh yeah the asg is cheap even MC is bewildered that the hawks didnt use their MLE last year. oh yeah, where is it in the cba or anywhere else that says only the best teams use the MLE? i been looking everywhere to find your source for that assertion or is it your opinion? heh heh

vava, you seemed to readily agree, maybe you can give me the reference if nire cant type. ;-)

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:39 pm

KQ:

Here they are again, 1 @ a time.
Before I tried to send four.

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/tibor-pleiss

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:40 pm

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:42 pm

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:44 pm

KQ:

& now I’m swingin’ for the fences.

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/brian-zoubek

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:45 pm

KQ – Are they on your screen?

Grandad

June 23rd, 2010
11:51 pm

JeJe:

Adam Morrison to Derek Fisher;
-NOW-
that’s funny.
You’re
a funny guy !!!
What –
vava said…there must be some truth to it.
” Hatter ”
knows better’n that.
So,
I’ll, leave you alone.

Have a good eve…..JeJe…..seriously,
G-dad

cp

June 24th, 2010
12:02 am

Section 303 youtube has some great videos on Seraphin. Honestly if he was there at 24 I wouldn’t be mad if the Hawks chose him. He could end up being a nice steal. However If James Anderson is there at 24 the Hawks should take him and not look back. In the second round I would love if they traded up for a guy like Stanley Robinson or Booker but only if they land Anderson in the first. If its Seraphin go Willie Warren in the second.

MannyT

June 24th, 2010
12:19 am

If you are going to max out at Channing Frye in several years, why not get the original now for a little bit of cash.

We may not win, but we will be interesting if our 2nd team is all offensive. When we play the Knicks it will be like an old ABA game.

While @niremetal may not approve, more offense means more highlights which also means more SportsCenter visibility. I think the ASG could sell it in the regular season.

Sure I’ll watch the draft tomorow (or at least parts of it), but even the best rookie won’t get me excited until he plays against the real pros in October.

@doc–my friends are NOT cheap or broke. Unfortunately theier wealth has time space continuum issues. As soon as we can use the appropriate scifi tools, they will be making it rain…Jerry Maguire style ;-)

Show me the money!

Knowledge Quest

June 24th, 2010
12:24 am

Thanks Grandad!

Tony

June 24th, 2010
12:30 am

No matter what, the Hawks must find a big man to START at center next year. Too many teams were allowed to penetrate the paint against the Hawks. This has to be priority number one! Then the Hawks must look for a true perimeter shooter to take the attention away from their low post players…anything other than this strategy and Drew may only coach one season with the Hawks…come on Sund, work your magic today!

Knowledge Quest

June 24th, 2010
12:36 am

Co-signing Tony. That’s pretty much it. Get those 2 pieces in that order and we can fill in the blanks. This is the time when GM’s get to show their stuff. Why they are paid the big buck…….

and with out further ado… take it away Sund