Who will the Atlanta Hawks select in Thursday's NBA draft? Here is a look at some of the mock drafts around the internet and their thoughts on the Hawks' picks.
Pick No. 17
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Allen Crabbe
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Mason Plumlee
Chris Mannix, SI.com: Lucas Nogueira
Adi Joseph, USAToday.com: Dennis Schroeder
Joe Kotoch, Sheridanhoops.com: Kelly Olynyk
Matt Moore, CBSsports.com: Kelly Olynyk
Gary Parrish, CBSsports.com: Mason Plumlee
Joel Brigham, Hoopsworld.com: Sergey Karasev
Yannis Koutroupis, Hoopsworld.com: Sergey Karasev
Steve Kyler, Hoopsworld.com: Kelly Olynyk
Alex Kennedy, Hoopsworld.com: Sergey Karasev
Ed Isaacson, Rotoworld.com: Mason Plumlee
Steve Alexander, Rotoworld.com: Jamaal Franklin
Draftexpress.com: Giannis Adetokunbo
Pick No. 18
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Kelly Olynyk
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Lucas Nogueira
Chris Mannix, SI.com: Sergey Karasev
Adi Joseph, USAToday.com: Mason Plumlee
Joe Kotoch, Sheridanhoops.com: Giannis Adetokunbo
Matt Moore, CBSsports.com: Gorgui Dieng
Gary Parrish, CBSsports.com: Archie Goodwin
Joel Brigham, Hoopsworld.com: Mason Plumlee
Yannis Koutroupis, Hoopsworld.com: Gorgui Dieng
Steve Kyler, Hoopsworld.com: Jamaal Franklin
Alex Kennedy, Hoopsworld.com: Rudy Gobert
Ed Isaacson, Rotoworld.com: Giannis Adetokunbo
Steve Alexander, Rotoworld.com: Rudy Gobert
Draftexpress.com: Dennis Schroeder
My thoughts: There has been a lot of talk about the Hawks trading their picks and moving up to get someone higher in the first round. They also have two picks in the second round, and there has been discussion about those being packaged, as well.
That doesn't make a lot of sense, however. First, the top of this draft is not good enough to do that. The Hawks need bodies and a lot of them because they won't have a lot of players under contract coming out of this season. There is no better way to find bodies, especially cheaply, than in the draft.
There also has been talk about the Hawks drafting international players and stashing them for a few years and not having them on the roster immediately. Again, that doesn't make much sense (reason above). As general manager Danny Ferry rebuilds this team with new head coach Mike Budenholzer, it just makes sense to work primarily through the draft -- that's what Budenholzer was a part of as an assistant in San Antonio and Ferry, as well, as part of the Spurs' front office -- and the Hawks have plenty of holes to fill.
So with the No. 17 pick, the Hawks should take Mason Plumlee, the center from Duke. Plumlee could start right away and finally move Al Horford to the power forward slot and give the Hawks a pretty athletic tandem in the middle.
With the No. 18 pick, the Hawks then should take Jamaal Franklin, the shooting guard from San Diego State. Like Plumlee, Franklin is a mature player and could play right away and give this team the immediate help it needs.