With Crawford on the way, should Hawks draft a big man?

Wouldn't B.J. Mullens look good in a Hawks' uniform? (AP photo)

Wouldn't Ohio State's B.J. Mullens look good in a Hawks' uniform?

It’s All-Draft Thursday here in Blogatopia. I’ll be with you through midnight, so get comfortable. I thought I’d start this morning by letting you know what everybody else thinks the Hawks will do, because when I asked general manager Rick Sund the other day what he had going on, his response was: “Not much. Except for the Shaq trade.”

Funny guy.

(If you missed it, Sund actually had a lot going on. According to my long lost twin, Sekou Smith, the team is close to finalizing a trade for Golden State guard Jamal Crawford, and all Sund has to give up is Speedy Claxton and Acie Law. And if I’m Mike Bibby, I’m thinking I just lost significant contract leverage.)

I went through a dozen mocks drafts to accumulate the consensus top five picks and the Hawks’ selection. Most outlets still have the Hawks picking Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague.

But here’s a question for you: With the probable addition of Crawford, wouldn’t the team be better off trying to land a center?

The Sporting News proposed this in its mock draft and has the Hawks taking Ohio State 7-foot center B.J. Mullens. But it’s not known what centers (or power forward-center types) will be available when the Hawks pick 19. Hasheem Thabeet of Connecticut will be long gone, possibly second overall to Memphis. The next group includes Mullens, Tyler Hansbrough and Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair (although at 6-7, he’s probably undersized for center).

Of course, then there’s always the possibility of a Shaq trade.

(Oh wow — look at the page views go up!)

What do you think? Should the Hawks go for a big man instead of a point guard? Or do you still like the idea of a young point guard to groom? (By the way, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson also might be available.)

Here’s the consensus of the mock drafts, and the individual mocks:

CONSENSUS PICKS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: Rick Rubio. 4. Kings:

James Harden. 5. Timberwolves: Stephen Curry.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

NBA DRAFT NET

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5. Timberwolves: Stephen Curry.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

ESPN

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: Ricky Rubio. 4. Kings: Tyreke Evans. 5. Timberwolves: James Harden.

♦ Hawks pick: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

DRAFT EXPRESS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: Ricky Rubio. 4. Kings: Jonny Flynn. 5. Timberwolves: James Harden.

♦ 19. Hawks: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Tyreke Evans. 3. Thunder: Ricky Rubio. 4. Kings: Jonny Flynn. (5. Wizards: James Harden. 6. Timberwolves: Hasheem Thabeet. This mock was before Minnesota acquired the No. 5 pick from Washington.)

♦ Hawks’ pick: Eric Clark, forward, Louisville.

YAHOO! SPORTS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: Stephen Curry. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5. Timberwolves: Tyreke Evans.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

THE SPORTING NEWS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Tyreke Evans. 5. Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio.

♦ Hawks’ pick: B.J. Mullens, center, Ohio State.

SLAM ONLINE

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: Ricky Rubio. 4. Kings: Brandon Jennings. (5. Wizards: Jordan Hill. 6. Timberwolves: DeMar DeRozan. This mock was before Minnesota acquired the No. 5 pick from Washington.).

♦ Hawks’ pick: Patrick Mills, guard, Saint Mary’s.

HOOPS HYPE

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5. Timberwolves: Jordan Hill.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Jeff Teague, guard, Wake Forest.

BLEACHER REPORT

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: James Harden. 3. Thunder: Hasheem Thabeet. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5. Timberwolves: Stephen Curry.

♦ Hawks: Brandon Jennings, guard, Lottomatica Roma (Italy).

INSIDE HOOPS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5. Timberwolves: Stephen Curry.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Ty Lawson, guard, North Carolina.

FLAGRANT FOULS

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Jonny Flynn. 5: Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Ty Lawson, guard, North Carolina.

HOOPS ADDICT

♦ 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin. 2. Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet. 3. Thunder: James Harden. 4. Kings: Ricky Rubio. 5: Timberwolves: DeMar DeRozan.

♦ Hawks’ pick: Eric Maynor, guard, VCU.

31 comments Add your comment

Taylor S

June 25th, 2009
8:27 am

Brandon Jennings would be a nice pick. If there is not a sure thing on the board I would much rather the hawks take a kid with some upside as apposed to another Sheldon Williams type.

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
8:35 am

You know the scary thing? Billy Knight that Shelden Williams HAD upside. … Jennings is interesting story. A top player coming out of high school (powerhouse Oak Hill), couldn’t get into Arizona and ended up going to Europe.

Doyle, Winder

June 25th, 2009
8:48 am

PG, PG, PG! We can get a big man in the 2nd and it not be such a risk as so many never pan out. But I am still sick over past drafts where we let an elite guard pass us by. Law or Teague would look fantastic in a Hawks uni for the next 10 years!

LEA

June 25th, 2009
8:52 am

hell no.. Mullens is going to be a bust.. Picking a PG like: Lawson, Maynor or Teague. Would be the safer pick.. That’s why I’m hoping someone takes both him and Hansborough before we pick..

Foster

June 25th, 2009
8:53 am

No WAY Jennings falls that far! I wouldn’t mind having him. Teague would be a nice pickup but he looked alot more attractive before we had Crawford, and Teague reminds me a good bit of Jamal. Lawson or Mullens would fit better, but Teague is still a great upside pick.

LEA

June 25th, 2009
8:54 am

and Crawford is NOT a pg

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
8:59 am

Doyle — I love Lawson but I wish he was a few inches taller.

Foster — drafts are weird. Sometimes I guy will be projected to go high to a certain team, but when that team passes on him, he slips way down because the next five or six teams either don’t like him or need that type of player. happens all the time.

Lea — Crawford’s not a classic passing PG. But he plays both spots.

TonyJ

June 25th, 2009
9:00 am

Now with Shaq back in the east I think Sund will get a big through the draft or either through trade.

LEA

June 25th, 2009
9:02 am

Shaq and LeBron are still not going to win a championship, plus he is old….. They still have to get through Boston and Orlando…

And Even if he was playing PG, that means Bibby is gone.. and we still need a young guy to play behind Crawford..

gtm

June 25th, 2009
9:13 am

Wishing Lawson was taller reminds me of wishing Chris Paul was bigger and Deron Williams was skinnier. If Lawson is still there I think we should take him. I’d love to use Crawford as our Odom/Ginobli.

LEA

June 25th, 2009
9:43 am

another thing Crawford came here to start, no way we’re paying a man that much money to come off the bench

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
9:56 am

TonyJ: Good move by Cavs. Not sure what Shaq has left honestly but not sure he needs a lot to help LeBron and that team. He can sit out more than a few games to rest for post-season.

GTM: Touche. We did hear the same thing about Chris Paul.

Lea: I disagree. If Bibby’s here, Crawford’s not going to complain about not starting. If he’s gone, then it obviously depends what Hawks do to replace him.

mavid

June 25th, 2009
9:56 am

I still think we go PG (because we now have room with Acie gone). Crawford is a sg, not a pg. Think Ben Gordon/JR Smith.

JSS

June 25th, 2009
9:57 am

This is rehash… Everyone knows they need a point first (not a knock against Bibby but long term) and everyone with the exception of Jeff Schultz knows my feelings on who they need to pick in the 2nd Round… Enjoy the draft…

mavid

June 25th, 2009
9:57 am

I am almost positive Sund sees Crawford in the Ben Gordon/6th man role. And that’s a great role for him here.

gcsu12

June 25th, 2009
10:10 am

Jeff, if the Hawks do in fact draft a guard who would you rather see them take: Lawson, Teague, or Maynor?

DHD

June 25th, 2009
10:11 am

At this point, with Crawford coming and not knowing who we’re going to keep, we really have to take the best player available. There are just too many questions and options. Bibby, Marvin, ZaZa, Murray…Childress coming back??? I wish the draft was after we knew the destinations of the other players.

Mac

June 25th, 2009
10:20 am

It’s funny how people really think about the Hawks getting a player to help them in the second round. Most second round picks have as much chance of making as I do (47, 5′10″ great low post moves). Heck, lower round 1st picks often can’t hack it. Al Wood, that skinny 6′9″ guard who from a few years ago who was in a wreck, etc., etc., etc.

JSS

June 25th, 2009
10:31 am

Mac, look back at the last 7 drafts league wide… Late 1st rd. and 2nd round picks have stuck in the league with great consistency. The Draft has been trending that ways for years… Don’t believe me.. Look for yourself… Dude, Al Wood was 30 years ago!!!

JSS

June 25th, 2009
10:42 am

You all should have caught MARTA, you would have been there on time…

Gohawks22

June 25th, 2009
10:46 am

“I HATE TRAFFIC” is an IDIOT

[...] we wait to see if there’s any ripple effect on the Hawks’ draft plans with their impending acquisition of guard Jamal Crawford from Golden State, I wanted to dispel [...]

Mike

June 25th, 2009
11:01 am

Take Garret Siler 7′ 278lb in 2nd round

TonyJ

June 25th, 2009
11:11 am

if we don’t re-sign Pachilla who do we have to back up Horford?..Jones? Morris? I think not, just look at Woodson’s track record when it comes to the bench..We need a BIG, not a 6′8 to 6′9 tweener..Size is what the team will be lacking even more.

BugKiller

June 25th, 2009
11:14 am

Jeff,

How outstanding would this team be if they got a SERVICEABLE center to start?\

Think about it.

Al Horford moves to power forward. I’ve been waiting two years to see that and see him explode as a 20-10 man from the four.

Josh Smith moves to the three where he can assume a Scotty Pippen-like role with his defensive abilities (as long as he doesn’t go into his lapses as much this year).

You got Joe and Mike at the two and one, with Crawford and Flip coming off the bench when they could start themselves.

Then, you have Williams super-sub.

OR… you trade Smith, and have Williams at the three.

OR… you sign and trade Williams, and still have Smith.

Man… a team like that, with Horfy at the four dominating in the floor with points and defense like he did at Florida… it’s SCARY.

But then the big question remains: can Woodson make that team go? I mean, he’s not the worst tactician, but he’s not the best, either.

I think he’d be happiest to sign Williams and trade Smoove. And I don’t believe, even if the Hawks found a serviceable center, that he would let Horfy move to power forward.

In many things, Woodson reminds me too much of Bobby Cox. Stubborn to the point that he would actually keep his team from winning the whole thing from his bad decisions, because if they’re gonna do it, they’re gonna do it HIS way or no way.

Good leaders and coaches need to have the ability to adapt and overcome. Adapt and overcome. Not bang your head against the wall as you try and force your square peg through the round hole.

It’s exciting to watch the Hawks right now, but also, there still remains many questions.

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
11:21 am

GCSU12: Lawson.

I Hate Traffic: I deleted your comment. Most here know I won’t tolerate racist comments. Try it again, you’re gone.

Mike: He’s a big one.

TonyJ: You’re answer might come in this draft.

Bugkiller: I agree. The problem is there just aren’t a lot of centers around. The league has changed a lot. That’s why the teams that do have solid centers tend to be the best teams in the league.

All I'm Saying Is...

June 25th, 2009
11:25 am

With this trade, if BJ Mullens is there (despite his relatively limited skill set especially on the defensive side) when the Hawks pick, we must draft Mullens so as to have someone long enough and thick enough (i.e. a big body) to plug the middle and prevent (or at least make them think twice) LeBron, D-Wade, etc. from driving to the hoop at will as they did during the playoffs. Plus, what a lineup it would be to have Mullens at Center (ZaZa resigned as backup), Al Horford at Power Forward, Josh Smith at Small (ha, that’s funny) Forward, Joe at Shooting Guard (Flip resigned as his back-up), and Crawford at the point (along with a re-signed for less money Bibby). Now that’s a better team (especially if we are able to then convince J-Chill to return stateside). LET’S GO HAWKS!

JSS

June 25th, 2009
11:58 am

Any one who watched Ohio State knows when they hit the Big Ten season, Matta threw Dallas Lauderdale out there to do the real center work for them… Mullens will be a good pro… But he is not a value at pick #19… Go and see what I said about Garret Siler in Bradley’s blog and I’m not the only one who has been on his side since last year’s Division II Championship game,. It was not a fluke… He has already outplayed real D-1 centers at Portsmouth… Yeah he needs work, but his body, hands (he ain’t Kevin Willis) make him a better choice…

Admiral Yamamoto

June 25th, 2009
2:18 pm

Can the Hawks get DerMar Johnson back?

Najeh Davenpoop

June 25th, 2009
2:59 pm

Earl Clark, not Eric Clark out of Louisville.

BJ Mullens is a project, and one with not all that much potential. There really are not any centers in this draft other than Thabeet that have a good chance of being NBA contributors for a long time. I’d much rather have a 6′7″ DeJuan Blair who will give you quality minutes than a 7 foot BJ Mullens who won’t.

Also, don’t let Crawford fool you into thinking he is a starting point guard on a playoff team. He is a very good scorer, but point guard he is not.

I still say Hawks should pick the best player available regardless of position. Don’t give Rick Sund, he who drafted Saer Sene and Robert Swift in the lottery, any ideas about reaching for big men.

JSS

June 25th, 2009
3:14 pm

You reach, but in the 2nd, not 1st…