A special Bradley’s Buzz: Updated all-NBA draft edition!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS!

Those darned folks at NBAdraft.net are killing me. When I went to bed last night, they had the Hawks taking Wayne Ellington, the elegant North Carolina shooter, with the 19th pick in Thursday’s draft. At 3:02 a.m., they updated their mock, and now they have the Hawks choosing Jrue Holiday, a point guard from UCLA. And I’m doing some rewriting because …

I like Ellington a lot.

I don’t like Holiday at all.

He averaged 8.5 points and 3.7 assists in his one season at UCLA. True, he was playing alongside/behind Darren Collison, a more seasoned point guard, but the consensus across college basketball was that Holiday had underwhelmed. (He actually seemed a better defender than an offensive player.)

Holiday has been projected to go in the upper half of Round 1 but could be sliding. Me, I think there’s good reason. Me, I think he’s way too raw. Me, I’d much rather see the Hawks take Eric Maynor of VCU or Ty Lawson of North Carolina, both of whom NBAdraft.net projects as being available at No. 19. But maybe that’s just me.

More projections: Chad Ford of ESPN.com has the Hawks taking Jeff Teague, the Wake Forest point guard, in his mock. (Link requires registration.) DraftExpress also tabs Teague as a Hawk. But Ian Thomsen of SI.com has Teague going 14th to Phoenix and has the Hawks taking Earl Clark, a 6-foot-10 forward from Louisville.

True confessions: I don’t much like Teague much. I like Clark’s talent but not his disinclination to dominate. (I’ve seen enough of that with Marvin Williams.) But I’m seeing Hawks GM Rick Sund this afternoon, and I’m sure he’ll tell me exactly who the Hawks plan on drafting.

Ty Lawson tops statistical draft board

The Atlantan John Hollinger, who does love his numbers, has Lawson, who’s 6-foot, ranked No. 1 among prospects (requires registration) on ESPN.com. He has Blake Griffin, who’ll be the No. 1 pick, No. 2. He has Nick Calathes of Florida, who might or might not go in Round 1, No. 6. He has Danny Green, who might have been the sixth-best player on North Carolina’s roster, rated No. 8 in this draft.

And Hollinger has Toney Douglas of Florida State (and Jonesboro High), who was voted the ACC’s best defender and who led the league in scoring, ranked 62nd. (Note: Only 60 players get drafted.)

This is one of those statistical rundowns I don’t fully buy, especially when measuring potential. But Hollinger claims his Draft Tracker, whatever its methodology, sniffed out Carlos Boozer, Josh Howard and Danny Granger. So there.

Running down the NBA Southeast

The hard-working folks at NBAdraft.net have compiled a divisional rundown, complete with salary numbers and expiring contracts and suchlike, and they have a particularly keen take on what the Hawks must do not just with the draft but with the summer.

To wit: “ Re-signing both [Mike] Bibby and [Marvin] Williams may be tough for the Hawks this summer. They may have to decide between Bibby’s leadership and Williams’ potential. Bibby has proven his worth in Atlanta and will not cost the Hawks as much as signing the younger Williams. Williams has proven only that he wasn’t worth the No. 2 overall pick in 2005.

Which Tar Heel would best suit the Hawks?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“The Hawks will be better served signing Bibby to a reasonable 3 year contract and drafting a wing player with the 19th pick for insurance in case Williams gets a large contract offer from an outside team like expected. The Hawks already have at least 20 million coming off the books for the big 2010 free agent class, and if they let Williams go elsewhere then they could be even bigger players in the summer of 2010.”

Given that I wrote a little something last week about the need to part with Williams, I’d like to applaud the sagacity of this appraisal. And while I’m applauding, here’s what NBAdraft.net sees as the Hawks’ draft options:

“They could get a quality guy to replace Williams’ role. Wake Forest’s James Johnson would be a steal at No. 19. North Carolina’s Wayne Ellington should be able to come in right away and score points. Louisville’s Terrence Williams or Xavier’s Derrick Brown could also be good fits.”

I’ve already said I like Ellington. I don’t like Johnson at all. Brown I like some. As for T-Will of the ‘Ville: Loved him as a collegian, but how many pro teams need a point forward?

And in Round 2 …

NBAdraft.net has the Hawks spending the 49th overall pick on DeMarre Carroll, a forward from Missouri. DraftExpress has them taking Dionte Christmas, a swingman from Temple.

And you know who NBAdraft.net has going 55th? Jodie Meeks of Norcross High.

Tell me again. Why’d he decide to leave Kentucky with a year’s eligibility remaining? Had he not heard about the Wildcats firing Billy Gillispie? Who leaves school to go 55th (of 60)?

For further reading: Here’s a later post containing the fruits, such as they were, of my Monday interview with Hawks GM Rick Sund.

83 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

June 21st, 2009
10:13 pm

Between the Hawks’ recent first-round debacles and the uncertainty of this year’s draft, I don’t think anyone can begin to have a decent idea of who the Hawks might take until they get to around pick #14 or #15.

Chris

June 22nd, 2009
7:51 am

If the Hawks can take Teague, it should be a no brainer. They are still banging their heads against the table for not taking Paul a few years back. Now I don’t think Teague is in the same league as Paul, but I think he can be a solid NBA PG. This will also allow the Hawks to get rid of Bibby next summer. And why would the Hawks take Ellington? He is nothing but a jump shooter. Not very athletic, doesn’t create his own shot well and doesn’t really play defense.

siskel_god

June 22nd, 2009
8:04 am

Another wing player, seriously? Whatever, at least it appears this GM has a plan, maybe.

Mac

June 22nd, 2009
8:13 am

I’m ready to get Bibby re-upped, I know that. He’s the hardest piece to replace if he goes. He and Zaza.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
8:15 am

I’d dispute that Ellington is “not very athletic.” He’s big and he’s quick and he really runs the floor.

Aubrey

June 22nd, 2009
8:18 am

Hawks need a point guard and a center. This draft is stong on point guards and has few center prospects. Its time the Hawks learned to draft for need rather than continuing to take the best available 6′7″ tweener. Given the circumstances it seems that the best available point guard should be taken. By the way, what is the current status of the Australian center that plays in Europe that the Hawks have draft right to?

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
8:22 am

David Andersen plays for Barcelona. The Hawks hold his rights. He’s an option they’re exploring, according to Rick Sund. But he’s more a power forward.

Notty Dred

June 22nd, 2009
8:22 am

This is a very interesting draft with so many different potential routes by all teams. Based on trades and free agency who knows who will fall to the Hawks at 19 or if the Hawks will still have the 19th pick on draft night. There are a lot of point gaurds. The Hawks should take one. Hopefully Mr. Flynn is available, but if not there is Lawson, Teague, Mills, etc. Ellington is a good shooter and we could use one more shooter. We made have to trade for a quality big man or maybe we could sign Gotat away from Orlando. We’ve seen Billy Knight work and he wasn’t too bad by my account. Now lets see what Rick Sund does. Go HAWKS!!!

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
8:27 am

I doubt Flynn will be around at No. 19. Maynor and/or Lawson might be. Patty Mills of St. Mary’s should be.

J Smurf

June 22nd, 2009
8:30 am

What are the odds that we try to move up in the draft? Is it possible?

DHD

June 22nd, 2009
8:50 am

If we sign Bibby, then sign Ellington. If we let Bibby go, you better sign Lawson. If you keep Bibby and can trade Josh for a center, draft Hansbrough. So, it all depends on the direction of the team. Problem is, they won’t know before the draft and will draft the wrong guy. History proves it.

scott

June 22nd, 2009
9:14 am

you sure that’s Meeks? i thought he was #23…

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
9:17 am

It’s possible, but I don’t expect it.

And Scott, good catch. But that’s a picture from Meeks’ freshman season, when he was No. 20.

Jamaaliver

June 22nd, 2009
9:19 am

Mark,

I’m definitely growing on wayne Ellington as a Hawk. When drafting outside the lottery, I always value older, experienced guys with winning backgrounds. Plus he provides ATL with a skillset that is in serious need (outside shooting). Hey, if we pick up Ellington, would we have more collegiate champions on our roster than any other in the league?

Do you think Patty Mills, with his speed, shooting and international experience is worth trading up in the 2nd round to acquire? Mills and Ellington seems like a nice future back court to groom.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

The trouble, DHD, is that the draft comes first. Free agency doesn’t start until July 1. It’s a silly system that a bunch of NBA folks want changed: Shouldn’t you know what your needs are apt to be before the draft, not after?

Mills in Round 2 is a nice idea, Jamaaliver. But the cold truth is that not many Round 2 guys amount to anything. Remember how we thought Salim Stoudamire was the steal of the 2005 draft?

Scott

June 22nd, 2009
9:29 am

Trade down and get Patrick Mills. He will be the sleeper in this draft.

KB

June 22nd, 2009
9:39 am

Ellington is not “very athletic” by NBA standards. He’s not a great defender and does not have much quickness laterally. He reminds me of a Shan Foster, athletically, but probably not the shooter Shan was. I believe Foster was drafted in the 40’s…the Hawks should take a serious look at Tony Douglas. He will be biggest steal of this year’s draft.

The Grinch

June 22nd, 2009
9:41 am

You know, if we got another coach we’d solve at least three problems. We’d have a decent PG (Law, who currently may as well not even be on the roster despite being at least as good as half the people we’re suggesting in the draft), JJ wouldn’t “fade down the stretch” anymore because he’d no longer lead the league in minutes every season, we could package Marvin “no package” Williams, Bibby, and “Speedy Claxton’s Expiring Contract (I refuse to believe the actual person exists)” for a CENTER. Now there’s a novel idea. Horford is a great enough talent to play the position if he has to, but why force it? If we got Caron Butler, it wouldn’t even have to be a great center, just a big body. There ought to be a way to swing two trades out of the aforementioned players plus the 19th pick and get Williams’ replacement and someone like Ilgaskus. If we must keep Woody, we could trade at least 5-7 players to get them since he only uses a 7 man rotation anyway.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
9:47 am

Actually, Woodson uses eight men. The starters plus Flip, Mo and Zaza.

No Crystal Balls

June 22nd, 2009
9:52 am

People kill me with the “..we passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams stuff..” and the Marvin Williams at 2 overall and Shelden Williams at 5 overall were huge mistakes – listen folks, hindsight is 20/20 otherwise this draft stuff is a big crapshoot – no one has a crystal ball – all the GM’s can do is use the info available, pick and hope for the best – Marvin was the consensus ” best athlete in the draft ” and Shelden was ALL-EVERYTHING in college – the best center we could hope for is Gortat and the best college point guards we saw were Lawson and Mills – we’ll see

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
9:55 am

Nobody except Billy Knight thought Shelden was the fifth-best player in the 2005 draft. Nobody. Even Hawks insiders who defend the Marvin Williams pick to this day have never understood the drafting of the Landlord.

Brock D

June 22nd, 2009
10:05 am

Great article MB. Any idea who the big free agents are next year?

MJ ATL 24

June 22nd, 2009
10:06 am

Is there any chance that the Hawks get Childress back this year? That would be a big help and a back up plan if Williams doesn’t return. I think that if Ty Lawson is on the board at 19 then we shouldn’t pass him up. The Hawks are at best when they run the floor and Lawson is the by far the best guy for that style.

Jay

June 22nd, 2009
10:07 am

Mark,

Any likelihood that the Hawks would trade next year’s first round pick (and maybe Acie Law) for a pick in this year’s draft? That might give them the opportunity to take both Wayne Ellington and Terence Williams.

I agree with you about Ellington–sweet jumper and some protection in case Johnson leaves in free agency after next year.

If you plan to re-sign Bibby and Murray, why not draft a point forward like Terence Williams? Since shooting, not play-making, is what Bibby and Murray do best, adding a playmaker to the line-up should not only help them but should also free Joe Johnson from having to handle the ball so much.

Besides, having a point forward worked out pretty well for the Bulls of the 90’s didn’t it?

Brock D

June 22nd, 2009
10:10 am

Jay, I’m pretty sure Jordan might have had a little to do with it. They could’ve had a point center and won titles.

The Grinch

June 22nd, 2009
10:11 am

Almost forgot about Zaza. But 8 hasn’t been enough since the 70’s.

Yes, lots of people mistakenly thought Marvin wasn’t a reach at the time, but only BK and Shelden’s Momma thought he was a top 20 pick (much less 5…still hard to even type that without cringing).

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
10:11 am

What we need is another coach! The Hawks coach is terrible at using his bench. Just look at how he gave a obviously injured Al Horford starters minutes over ZaZa when Horford was available in the playoffs. And when did Joe Johnson get hurt? When we were down by what? 30 points in the 4th quater?? I mean seriously… would Phil Jackson still have Kobe in the game at that point to risk injury?
Our coach has no idea how to rest players and use his bench!

Just A Fan

June 22nd, 2009
10:12 am

Resign Bibby and develop Teague. No one could guard him in college. He’s a fast player like Paul and could be a great player for years to come. Get a shooter with the second pick (Meeks).

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
10:14 am

I think the Hawks are, as they say, exploring all options, Jay. I’m meeting with Rick Sund today at 3 and will file something shortly thereafter.

As for who’ll be a free agent next summer: Almost everybody is. LeBron, D-Wade, Yao, T-Mac, Amare … even Joe Johnson. Here’s a list from ESPN.com.

Daniel

June 22nd, 2009
10:21 am

wow- there are so many directions that the Hawks could go this summer. The thing with Marvin is that you HAVE to at least sign and trade him. We cannot let the #2 pick just walk in a restricted year. Therefore, even if we move him we have to get back similar financial value, which still makes signing Bibby and Zsa tough. I would prefer to sign Flip, Za, and Marvin(even if a trade) and draft a point guard.

MJ ATL 24

June 22nd, 2009
10:24 am

Oh and one more thing. I don’t like the idea of taking Ellington. Toney Douglas went for 30+ against him in the ACC tournament (FSU won that game) and went for 27 against UNC during the regular season. Not to mention the fact that Coach K said that he is the best player in the ACC. He also brings defense and toughness. They could get Douglas in the second rd which sounds a lot better than taking Ellington in the first which is a player of equal or lesser talent.

Daniel

June 22nd, 2009
10:25 am

wow- Toney Douglas at 62? I think he would be a steal at 49. I hope the Hawks can get him.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2009
10:27 am

System-specific. Hawks need to draft catch and shoot players or big guys who can clean the glass. One of the reasons Acie isn’t a good fit (besides his chronic hang-nail problem) is that he needs the ball for 10-15 seconds to be effective. That would allow him to either drive to the rim or penetrate and dish. But only Joe gets to hold the ball that long in this offense (even Bibby doesn’t just pound the ball). Teague appears to be more like an Acie type of guard. Give me Tony Douglas. He will stop dribble penetration, can catch and shoot and will grow into a better distributor. And his ACC DPOY pedigree is no joke. Check the stats, the Hawks problem last year was more about defense and less about offense.

Brock D

June 22nd, 2009
10:27 am

JR

June 22nd, 2009
10:38 am

There is another Tar Heel, if he drops to 49 as one mock draft guesses, that the Hawks should take. Danny Green is an upgrade to Josh Childress. He’s the same spark-off-the-bench as Childress, but a better shooter and defender. I would take Lawson if he is available and not resign Bibby, but it would be difficult to pass on Hansbrough if he is available. He never takes a second off when on the floor, something the disappearing acts like Marvin, Josh, Bibby and Joe might learn from.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
10:39 am

Please note that the lead item has been updated above. NBAdraft.com now has the Hawks taking Jrue Holiday of UCLA.

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
11:06 am

Trade Marvin for a draft pick! Get Steph Curry!! Get a coach that has the balls to tell Josh Smith hes a terrible shooter and is killing his team with his stupidity!

Melvin

June 22nd, 2009
11:13 am

Mark,

If Jrue is on the available then we should take him. He may be raw but he has potential to be good and if we resign Bibby then we can allow him time to develop and figure out if Acie is the guy for the job or should we use him as trade chip.

As for Ellington, he reminds me of a taller Rodney Monroe that played at NC State in the 90’s. Deadly shooter from anywhere on the court but not much of a creater off the dribble.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

Marvin cannot be traded for a draft pick. You can’t trade a free agent until the middle of July.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
11:27 am

Ellington is a lot taller and — to use the buzzword — longer than Monroe. Who was, if you remember, drafted by the Hawks in Round 2 in, I believe, 1990. Didn’t amount to anything.

Daniel

June 22nd, 2009
11:28 am

Jrue Holliday is an interesting pick, which depends on if you think the UCLA system was “holding” him back. I dunno…. little shaky if you ask me.

DeaconPeach

June 22nd, 2009
11:28 am

What do I come away with from this blog? Mark Bradley doesn’t like Wake Forest players. True confession, I don’t like Mark Bradley at all either.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2009
11:35 am

Hawks don’t set weak-side screens. And other than Horford, they really don’t have anyone even capable of setting a bone-rattling screen. At #19, Sund would do well to find someone who can impact a game in about 12-18 minutes of playing time. And not by scoring but by either playing wicked perimeter defense or being a Jason Maxiell-type force on the glass.

Melvin

June 22nd, 2009
11:36 am

Mark,

And that’s what scares me about him (the Rodney comparison). He seems to be a great shooter but what else does he bring to the court (ala JJ Reddnick). However, I do admit that I haven’t follow him that much as I did some other college players.

Also, I think Dejuan Summers will be the sleeper of this draft…

Reggie

June 22nd, 2009
11:41 am

Mark

I disagree with you on Jeff Teague. He athletic, he can drive, and he can shoot. I know he not a true point guard, but dont you think he can develop those in time, especially sitting behind Mike Bibby?

I think his scoring can help us. thoughts?

O'Brien

June 22nd, 2009
11:55 am

Mark,

How does Wayne Ellington compare to JJ Reddick?

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
11:59 am

I don’t like Teague as a player. Wish I did. But I don’t.

Steve

June 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

I have to agree with all the comments on needing a new coach. It’s ridiculous that this team is BUILT for running yet our coach steadfastedly refuses to change his style to a running game. A coach who cannot change with the makeup of his team is not worth having. It’s much easier to change one person than a whole team. Without a 3-5 year overhaul, this team will not fit Woodson’s style. They might not ever fit his style given there are so few players you can find that do fit into it.

If you also take into account that the old-school, slow-down basketball is no longer the style that most of the better players fit into, then you are further handicapping yourself. Oh yeah, lets not forget that most of the free agents that are worth having will simply NOT come to a team that forces half court sets.

If we got a coach in here who knew how to use this talent, Acie would be workable at point and we wouldn’t be forced to sign the below average defender and mediocre PG in Bibby. Josh Smith would become a true force on offense given that most PF’s cannot run with him, and most SF’s he could back down. Marvin can run as good as most PF’s and would be tough to matchup. This would also force other teams to stop plying bigger centers that could post up Horford (Hawks had major problems with this last year), because he can run so well they would have to counter that with a smaller guy (except for maybe Orlando). Our entire bench outside of ZaZa can run with anyone also.

We are wasting the prime years of the best young, athletic team in the East by continuing this half-court nonsense when we have NO reliable outside shooters. Johnson went thru so many cold spells last year we need to move him NOW, while he still has some trade value.

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

As for Redick vis-a-vis Ellington: Redick worked a lot harder to free himself off screens; Ellington seems to float in and out of games. (Then again, Duke’s offense was built around Redick; Carolina’s was built around beating the other team down the floor.) Ellington is quicker and faster. Redick may have had more range but has been unable to free himself regularly in the NBA. (Though he did have a wide-open look from the top at a 3 that would have put Orlando up four in OT of Game 4 against the Lakers, and he missed it. Not that I’m bitter or anything.)

jazzyk

June 22nd, 2009
12:05 pm

What’s with the point guard talk? The Hawks need size inside and lots of help on the offensive boards.
Wasn’t that obvious in the playoffs?