Atlanta Hawks: NBA draft live blog (Update: Hawks select Oakland U. center Keith Benson)

The Hawks are not on the verge of being sold. Josh Smith has not been traded yet, unless Rick Sund made a deal right before I just saw him get some chicken here in the team’s offices.

This is the place to talk about these things and any other developments throughout the night.

Oh, yeah, there’s also the draft. The Hawks have the No. 48 pick.

UPDATE: The Hawks selected Oakland (Mich.) University center Keith Benson.

Here’s his NBADraft.net profile. DraftExpress has an interview with Benson.

Below are some excerpts from Benson’s teleconference with reporters. I’ll update the blog after Sund comes out to talk.

UPDATE II:

  • Sund said the Hawks explored trading into the first round but didn’t want to get into specifics about those discussions, including the reports about Smith and the Timberwolves.
  • Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft said the team had Benson rated as early second round. He said there wasn’t much temptation to draft Josh Selby because several other players who were available were rated above Selby and those players also better fit the team’s needs.
  • Pendergraft said Benson’s strengths include his athleticism, shot-blocking ability and scoring touch. His weaknesses are his strength, though Pendergraft said Benson is “wiry strong” and could put on some more weight. “I don’t think he will ever be 250 or 260 but he could be 235 or maybe a little bit more,” Pendergraft said. “The trend in the league is is more long, wiry athletic types.”
  • Pendergraft said he’s not concerned with the level of competition Benson faced because Oakland played a tough non-conference schedule. “It’s not like he’s just going to be overwhelmed,” Pendergraft said.
  • Hawks coach Larry Drew said Benson can play power forward and center.

KEITH BENSON

(questions about strength)

“I’ve been out in Vegas working out with the weight trainer there and getting stronger. I’ve put on about five pounds since the Chicago event. I’ve been working out three times a week, working every day to get stronger.”

(potential to add weight)

“I think I have the frame to put on a lot of weight. My game will really increase once I put on that weight and some strength. I think I can put on 20 or more pounds.”

(what he knows about the Hawks, why he thinks he’s a good fit and which Hawks does he look forward to playing with)

“I’m looking forward to playing with Al Horford. He’s developed into the really good ‘bigs’ in this league. I like watching Joe Johnson. They are an athletic team and I think I can contribute to that. They have some youth and like to get up and down. I watched them a lot this year.”

(how much did he weight when he got to Oakland, and what does he weigh now)

“I was 190 when got to Oakland, and 6-9. I grew a couple inches. And I’m about 224 now.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

967 comments Add your comment

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:32 pm

Minnesota takes D.Williams at #2. Utah takes Brandon Knight.

No moves after all the noise.

CONservative Johnson

June 23rd, 2011
7:35 pm

Well I hope it is at least entertaining . . .

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:35 pm

Buddy Grizzard

June 23rd, 2011
7:35 pm

You would have to be an idiot not to take Derrick Williams #1.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:36 pm

One thing the NBA should change is having the draft in the same place every year. They should have it in the location of whoever has the #1 pick.

Macaroni Tony

June 23rd, 2011
7:38 pm

I hope that we don’t trade JS, for a guy who haven’t played in the league as of yet. I saw Kanter on youtube and he didn’t look that strong.

Reggie

June 23rd, 2011
7:39 pm

Ok leave it to Rick Sund to be eating instead of working out a deal to make his team better…its 7:26 and the draft starts at :730…he couldn’t get some chicken at 6:55?

CONservative Johnson

June 23rd, 2011
7:39 pm

They should really simulcast this on NBA TV, so we aren’t stuck with the ESPN idiots. Also, they should not broadcast the analysis through the room speakers, because a lot of it is disrespectful on a night that should be a positive for the players . . .

CONservative Johnson

June 23rd, 2011
7:39 pm

LOL, Reggie . . .

jhan

June 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

I would have taken Williams.

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

“Also, they should not broadcast the analysis through the room speakers, because a lot of it is disrespectful on a night that should be a positive for the players . . .”

Nothing more so than when Jay Bilas called Smoove a bust. I am biased obviously as a Hawks fan but I can’t remember a more blatant instance of disrespect from one of these analysts on draft day.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

I would have taken Williams too.

Buddy Grizzard

June 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

I don’t think Irving is as good as John Wall, who is a poor defender and isn’t about to lead anybody to an NBA championship.

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:41 pm

Had the Cavs taken D.Williams, Minnesota would’ve thought thought harder about moving that #2 pick. But I just don’t see them doing much now other than taking D.Williams.

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:41 pm

Now the clock watch with Josh….Does he or doesn’t he go to the ‘Wolves….

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:42 pm

If a Smoove trade is going to go down, it’s going to happen soon. If the Wolves taken Kanter we can start holding our breath.

kirkinga

June 23rd, 2011
7:42 pm

Will someone please hire Jon Barry to coach please? He is really trying hard to impress.

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:42 pm

Reggie

June 23rd, 2011
7:39 pm
“Ok leave it to Rick Sund to be eating instead of working out a deal to make his team better…its 7:26 and the draft starts at :730…he couldn’t get some chicken at 6:55?”

-

lmao

BrittishAnger

June 23rd, 2011
7:43 pm

Is it bad that I wanna hate Jon Barry as much as I hate Lebron James?

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:45 pm

The T’Wolves have been met with a number of deals for that #2 spot.

Odom + peices for their #2.
Iggy was dangled to the T’Wolves.
Monta Ellis.
The Bucks were rumored to give up Bogut + their #10 pick for that #2 pick.

J.Smith isn’t going anywhere.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:45 pm

Woj says Derrick Williams at #2.

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:46 pm

Done deal.

For Hawks fans, call it a night. Nothing happening here.

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:46 pm

No Josh trade – at least yet

Buddy Grizzard

June 23rd, 2011
7:47 pm

Cleveland could have taken Williams and had an elite scorer to replace LeBron James, but instead they bought into the hype and picked a slow point guard. What a disaster for Cleveland.

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:47 pm

#48 will be around 11:00 pm guys, long wait for E’twaun Moore or somebody else like that.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2011
7:48 pm

T-Wolves aren’t complete idiots after all. Heh.

BrittishAnger

June 23rd, 2011
7:48 pm

Will another highly drafted Duke player bust as bad as Shelden Williams? Only time and a alcoholics intuition will tell…..

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
7:48 pm

Derrick Williams No. 2, so if Hawks really want Kanter they’ll have to find another partner

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2011
7:49 pm

T-Wolves must have known Cavs are idiots.

Anybody still unhappy that Chris Grant got the GM job in Cleveland, instead of here?

SteveW

June 23rd, 2011
7:49 pm

Buddy – I think I agree. When the scouts are saying Irving is like Chris Paul, just not as good – that’s not a great sign.

jason

June 23rd, 2011
7:49 pm

Now I know the Hawks aren’t trading Josh to the T-Wolves. WOuld have loved Kanter and Beasley. -.-

Reggie

June 23rd, 2011
7:50 pm

Looks like the only deal Sund will be making is trading two wings and a side for a breast,thigh and biscuits to be made later….man im done… these guys are satisfied with getting to the second round of the playoffs.

Luke Cage

June 23rd, 2011
7:50 pm

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
7:50 pm

Millsap’s on the block.

jason

June 23rd, 2011
7:50 pm

Enes goes 3rd..

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:51 pm

Kanter at #3 to the Jazz. I guess that’s the Hawks’ potential “trade partner”.

hawksfancents95

June 23rd, 2011
7:51 pm

cleveland really misfired on taking irving #1, they coulda got a starting small forward in derrick williams and with #4 take brandon knight or kemba who i think are both better than irving. ha with kanter gone cleveland has to be upset

jason

June 23rd, 2011
7:51 pm

So how do we get Kanter… They Already have a loaded frontcourt. So it makes no sense.

Luke Cage

June 23rd, 2011
7:51 pm

Not a fan of Sund but people he can’t make a deal if people are willing to be trade partners?

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
7:52 pm

how the hell are they going to announce Kanter as coming from Kentucky?

/kuck fentucky

chartez

June 23rd, 2011
7:52 pm

cmon rick les get a deal done

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2011
7:52 pm

Najeh ,

Doubting it, but what do I know….

What’s scary is Sund’s historic man crush on big men…an unsuccessful history, that is.

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2011
7:53 pm

Why do I get the feeling Sund is after some less highly sought after big man in this draft? Maybe I should take a nap until the middle of the second round…

chickenman

June 23rd, 2011
7:53 pm

trade not.. i think we got our shock value with the falcons lol JULIOOO… maybe julio can join the hawks …

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
7:54 pm

“Anybody still unhappy that Chris Grant got the GM job in Cleveland, instead of here?”

Sund hasn’t exactly set the world on fire himself. Let’s not forget Grant orchestrated maybe the best trade of the trade deadline in February, trading Mo Williams for Baron Davis and what ended up being the #1 overall pick. I can’t see Sund ever doing something that creative.

hawks_4_life

June 23rd, 2011
7:54 pm

So disappointed right now, I guess I should be used to it by now.

jason

June 23rd, 2011
7:54 pm

Now gotta wait an hour plus minutes till the 48th pick

Ethan

June 23rd, 2011
7:54 pm

So what your saying is 90% of the fans will walk away tonight disappointed. I thought the cancer was going into remission. It turns out, its metastasized to the whole body. The Hawks are the beacon of eternal mediocrity. Im underwhelmed and not looking forward to next year…

Luke Cage

June 23rd, 2011
7:55 pm

These so called analysts keep calling certain players “High Basketball I.Q.”, I mean it’s basketball not like you have to have a degree lol, I mean these guys have been playing ball since elementary school.