Atlanta Hawks: Prospect focus: Memphis’ Will Barton

During his sophomore season at Memphis, Will Barton was among the best guards in the NCAA at rebounding, finishing around the basket and getting to the free-throw line.

A couple things stand out about that for me. One is that Barton managed to do all of this in spite of a very thin build. The other is that if he could eventually do those things for the Hawks, he would be the only guard on the current roster with that skill set.

That’s an big “if,” though, because Barton isn’t likely to add much much more weight to his 175-pound frame. He’s old for an NCAA sophomore at 21 and it’s not as if he hasn’t tried to bulk up.

“It’s just tough to put on weight,” he said. “I eat a lot. I do push ups. I lift weights. It’s a thing where I will probably just never put on weight. But [if I can] just keep gaining strength and be able to take hits and defend my position and rebound and do the things I do, I will be fine.”

Barton scored 1.328 points per possession around the basket as a sophomore, according to DraftExpress.com, which is comparable to group leader Jeremy Lamb (1.463). Barton also had good rates for rebounds and free throws.

Barton said those numbers were a result of adding strength.

“You can tell when you see me work out or play,” he said. “I live in the paint. That’s where I get most of my points. I rebound. I stay in the paint.”

Can Barton get to the rim and finish with contact in the NBA?

“Not like college,” Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft said. “But I think he will [eventually]. Obviously he needs to get stronger but you can’t rush weight. You can rush it on a big guy sometimes but, guards, they go at their own pace.

“It will be an adjustment on the defensive end more than the offensive end. He’s quick enough. I think he will make the adjustment to negate his lack of strength and bulk if he could become a better 3-point shooter. It will make it easier for him. That way he gets more real estate to work with.”

Barton saw a big jump in his effective field-goal percentage from his first year at Memphis to his second. He also developed into a good passer, which should help his offensive game.

Barton said some teams have told him they project him as a shooting guard, others as a small forward. The distinction matters less and less in the NBA, but no doubt bigger wings will seek to bully Barton into the basket area.

Still, Barton projects as a first-round pick because of his offensive skills.

“Reminds me a little bit of Jamal Crawford,” Pendergraft said. “He’s got a slick way of scoring the ball whether it’s shooting or getting to the rim. He’s thin as a rail, but he’s strong and obviously he’s durable or you couldn’t put up those kind of numbers. It’s going to be interesting to see how he does. He’s still on our board.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

37 comments Add your comment

Luv Josh Smith

June 27th, 2012
3:10 pm

Hawks need to draft big in this deep draft.

MsDee

June 27th, 2012
3:13 pm

MsDee

June 27th, 2012
3:13 pm

MsDee

June 27th, 2012
3:15 pm

MC,

Is it true that Jemery Lamb and Perry Jones are working out for the Hawks today, or have already?

Ray

June 27th, 2012
3:18 pm

@ O’brien

From the last blog

I was saying 1) Yes I think Zaza is a hard worked proved that most of his seasons being here he’s the garbage guy for us we need that.

2) Him and Dalembert have the same exact numbers so basically trading Zaza for Dalembert get’s you Zaza we didn’t really do anything???

Another thing Zaza can get to the line better than Dalembert can and he’s reb is 1 pt higher at 8 instead of 7 for Dalembert.

So again making that trade get’s you Zaza in return why make the trade if it doesn’t improve that postion is what I’m getting at.

Ray

June 27th, 2012
3:19 pm

Plus add to that Dalembert gets older Zaza does too, but he’ll only be 29.

UGA

June 27th, 2012
3:23 pm

The Atlanta Hawks have been pursuing Pau Gasol, The Times has learned. Nothing imminent, but Josh Smith would be key piece going to Lakers.

Well here we go, straight from Hoopsworld

Glenn

June 27th, 2012
3:24 pm

Maybe Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will fall to us : (

I just saw a mock draft that had that guy fall to 8 . How nuts would that be ? That being said I like Will Barton . Guy’s got complete game .

tjhook

June 27th, 2012
3:28 pm

just saw this deal proposal concerning Lamar Odom and Mo Wiliams. I like Mo Williams as a player – can shoot and pass – maybe we could jump in there after maybe seeing if a team wants to take Marvin Williams off our hands. A late first- round pick, maybe? What’s everybody’s idea on this?

tjhook

June 27th, 2012
3:29 pm

Jae Evolution

June 27th, 2012
3:33 pm

Sam Dalembert apparently headed to Milwaukee.

UGA

June 27th, 2012
3:34 pm

WojYahooNBA Dalembert and the 14th pick go the Bucks for the 12th pick, Jon Brockman, Jon Leurer and Brockman, sources tell Y!

Shaun Livingston involved too

Jae Evolution

June 27th, 2012
3:35 pm

Wow trading a really good rebounding and shot-blocking center to move up two spots in the draft, that’s a confusing move.

Ra'mon

June 27th, 2012
3:46 pm

Chris Broussard: G State is eyeing several SFs via trade: Rudy Gay, Iguodala, Marvin Williams, in addition to Wil Chandler, sources say. Nothing imminent.

Wow!!! Really? Please make it work Ferry.

Glenn

June 27th, 2012
3:48 pm

hmmmm.........

June 27th, 2012
3:49 pm

I’d hate to see Josh get traded but the Hawks need to do something. wish they trade JJ or Marvin and draft Melo

EmirS.

June 27th, 2012
3:49 pm

I think Houston trading away Dalembert squashes any chance of them getting Josh from us. I doubt we can get Scola just for the mere fact that they would more then likely need him to get Howard into Houston. But with Hawks pursuing Pau, there might have been some sorta communication between the Hawks and Rockets to clarify that we might be trying to send Josh to the Lakers?

Michael Cunningham

June 27th, 2012
3:52 pm

@MsDee: the other Lamb (Doron) was here today for his 2nd workout. Jones did not visit.

Jae Evolution

June 27th, 2012
3:53 pm

Marvin Williams and cash for Dorell Wright and the 35th pick.

EmirS.

June 27th, 2012
3:55 pm

I think for us to get Pau it might have to be a three team trade. I just read the Lakers want a top 5 pick…..to get Micheal Kidd.

hmmmm.........

June 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

Did that just happen Jae or are u suggesting that move?

EmirS.

June 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

Also R.I.P to Pat Cummings.

Jae Evolution

June 27th, 2012
3:57 pm

Simply a suggestion.

Glenn

June 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

MKG & Josh have similar games no ?

Grandad

June 27th, 2012
4:03 pm

High-Sider

Okay Einstein;
I flunked `rithmatic … you feel better.

10 % pts.

-I made a mistake-

I`m happy to admit I made a mistake
when and often as I do.
___________________________________________

H-S

Continue blowin` in the wind.
Mince your words.
Pretend you were only joshin`.
Deny what you meant.
You`re a poser.
Change your position to suit your needs.
Alter your words.
Live in bitterness.
Blame others.
Remain in the past.
Dismiss logic and reasoning.
Exploit transference rather than relevance.
But always, always, always, be right, even when you`re wrong.

The Real cp

June 27th, 2012
4:05 pm

I like Barton. We need more guys who can get to the line.

Perry Jones seems to be slipping in some mocks. The only problem is he wants to be a 3 but seem more like a stretch 4. He also seems to be a guy who needs a coach who will push him. I dont think LD is that guy. Perry Jones has a lot of potential but I dont know if he will ever be able to put it all together without the right coaching.

If GS wants Marvin it must be for their second rounder and a player. Im not a big fan of Dorrel Wright. I prefer Brandon Rush but I think he is a free agent or rfa. I dont know for sure but I like his game a lot more than Dorrell’s.

O'Brien

June 27th, 2012
4:07 pm

From hoopshype;

The Bucks and Rockets have swapped 12th and 14th picks respectively in a deal that sends Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee, sources confirm.. Twitter

I like the move for Milwaukee.

PMC

June 27th, 2012
4:07 pm

Is there a reason we wouldn’t go get a center in this draft? What are we going to do for defense when Josh leaves?

O'Brien

June 27th, 2012
4:09 pm

From the LA times;

The Atlanta Hawks have aggressively tried to trade power forward Josh Smith to the Lakers for Pau Gasol, initially expressing interest in Gasol shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, The Times has learned..

Josh is kind of sensitive too, so if this is true, and Josh knows about it, I think he definitely would not resign here. I wont be surprised to see Ferry trade him this offseason.

Marcus

June 27th, 2012
4:11 pm

blog monster got me on the iphone …

recap: Ron Thompson on NBA TV Draft special said last nite (based on his scouting experience) that teams go BPA in 1st round; need-based for 2nd round pick. I think we follow that line of thinking …. and I thinkwe end up w/T. Wroten @ 23. Not my choice (like me some Jeff Taylor) but ….

O'Brien

June 27th, 2012
4:12 pm

tyger

June 27th, 2012
4:12 pm

2012 Hawks closer

The Hawks did a great job…
They were .40 sec away from a 1st rd playoff win…
A missed FT from OT in Game 6…vs EC Finalist…
With injured players, Pachulia, Smith, Horford, McGrady…
It shows the resiliency of the team and coach…

Good players, good coach…
LD patched together a playoff season…
Without the same players each week or game….
This is not a blow-up situation…Hawks are close…

Joe Johnson heavily criticized b/c of his salary…
Joe has a highly valued skill-set…Scorer/Shooter..
20ppg+ scorers warrant top $$$…but he didnt avg. 20ppg???

No, but Smoove’s ascension and JJ’s unselfish style…
Account for JJ’s diminished scoring, but improved team play…
Hawks shortcomings more attributable to role players…
Without JJ, ATL like Cleveland without LBJ…

Al Horford missed the entire regular season in 2012…
Hawks made playoffs, won 2 games w/o him…
Yet, Game 6, he reminded us why we bank on him…

Down the stretch when Hawks/hope were fading…
Al, went on an 8 pt. tear to win the game…
Putting on full display his championship pedigree…
Where lesser men fade, Al rose…

Smoove – the prodigal, native son will be missed…
He’ll stand next to Dr. J as one of the great “what ifs”…
He’ll become an All-star elsewhere…we’ll miss him…
We’ll rout for him from afar, like Deion, Justice, Vick…

Marvin – the enigma, curse of #2 pick…
I can still smell what Marvin is cooking…
6′9, 230, F that can, shoot, defend w/ good IQ…
Can play 3 positions and defend uber players…
LBJ, Kobe, Gay, Melo, Deng, Durant…etc…

Gives you a fighting chance every night…
That has value…and occassionally Game 6…
Too early to give up now…I’ll ride w Marvin…

Where would we be w/o ZaZa Pachulia????
Next to Smoove, no one embodies the Hawks more…
Averaging close to a double-double his Hawk career…
No one has sacrified, fought, bled, grown more than ZaZa…
Everyone talks JJ, Smoove, Marvin…MVP may be ZaZa…

Glenn

June 27th, 2012
4:15 pm

LOL ! Josh is the one who asked to be traded . We can’t afford to reup him anyway with JJ’s annual 22 million .

There is no one that can come in and play center right away more or less available at 23 . I would love for Harkless fall to us . He’s a baller but it would seem his stock is heading north . Will Barton should be there & could help fairly quick I would think .

hmmmm.........

June 27th, 2012
4:20 pm

The Hawks need a center but they need to dump salary to make a move, maybe trade JJ and Marvin to the bobcats for the 2 pick then they could trade the 2 to the Lakers for gasol and keep josh. Camby is a free agent but im not sure the hawks have any cash to add anyone

Marcus

June 27th, 2012
4:21 pm

O’B

Don’t the salaries have to match? I thought Josh was making 13 mill and P. Gaso about 19 Mil …? Were we throwing in Marvin or someone else to close the gap in salaries?

Josh might be ecstatic to be going to Cali w/Kobe ………… Mike Brown, not so much .. but the Lakers resume of greatness makes up for that.

Michael Cunningham

June 27th, 2012
4:30 pm

new blog posted. shutting down this thread.

Bob Weiss

June 27th, 2012
4:30 pm

I know this isn’t the popular opinion, but I’d like to see the Hawks keep their core together. I still remember when the Hawks broke up a decent team in Blaylock, Steve Smith, Laettner, Augmon, and eventually Mutumbo. Sure, that team wasn’t going to beat Jordan and the Bulls, but it was far more entertaining to watch than the decade of losing afterwards. I believe the Hawks would have beat the Celtics with a healthier group this season. Lets just keep rolling the dice with this lineup and see if we can get lucky. It is so difficult to rebuild in the NBA.