Update: The Hawks selected Vanderbilt junior guard John Jenkins with the No. 23 overall pick. The Hawks had two workout sessions at Philips Arena with Jenkins, who was the top perimeter shooter in NCAA Division I last season.
Update: The Hawks selected Virginia forward Mike Scott with the No. 43 overall pick.
There has seemed to be a subtle shift in comments by Hawks folks since Danny Ferry came on board.
Before there was lots of talk about possibly selecting a player who could join the rotation right away. Now there seemed to be more of a focus on drafting the best talent, regardless of that player’s immediate readiness.
“The ‘best player’ scenario probably fits us the best right now,” Hawks assistant manager Dave Pendergraft said.
That’s not to suggest that the Hawks weren’t considering a long-term prospect before (and, really, most of the players available late in the first round fit that bill). It’s just that Ferry and co-owner Bruce Levenson both have stressed long-term player development and so it follows that’s the organization’s message.
Ferry was still getting his legs when he talked to media Monday and so didn’t have a lot to say about his draft strategy. The team’s PR staff hasn’t made him available for interviews since then. Ferry did talk to the team’s Web site today and addressed the possibility of making a trade.
“Will something happen? I’m not sure that it will, and we will probably be picking 23,” Ferry said. “There is still a long time before we have to pick so we’ll see what happens.”
Ferry said there is a lot of trade talk centered on draft picks in general but said: “We are not going to make a trade just to make a trade.”
“We’ll be a part of some of those talks,” Ferry said. “Maybe we can add a piece or do something.”
Both Pendergraft and Larry Drew said there haven’t been any issues with Ferry joining the staff so late in the process.
“He’s been following all of the draft stuff and he knows these guys really well,” Drew said. “Our format in which we do things, it’s been pretty much the same that it’s been. These guys that have been at the forefront of the draft, Rick [Sund], Dave, our scouts–it’s been, to me, a very smooth transition thus far. Everybody is giving their opinions and thoughts and everyone is trying obviously to find the best player available for us at that pick.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat