The Atlanta Hawks opened up the new era with Danny Ferry as general manager with a resounding…splat. The table was set for the Hawks in the 2012 NBA draft to us oft-mentioned trade bait Josh Smith as way to move up from the 23rd overall pick in the draft, or to deal him in return for some immediate team needs. The Hawks did neither.
Instead, Atlanta stood pat with the two picks they had, and did nothing to address some glaring needs in the frontcourt.
In taking Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins with the 23rd pick, the Hawks bascially added another below average, undersized athlete for the two-guard spot. It would seem with his size, Jenkins will have trouble getting shots off against bigger, more athletic opponents in the NBA.
Jenkins’ stats between his sophomore and junior years at Vanderbilt were nearly identical – there was a slight improvement in 3-point shooting percentage – but one troubling stat for Jenkins is a mere 1.1 assists per game. The last thing the Hawks need is another guard accustomed to playing “hero ball”.
Defensively, Jenkins has a number of issues and limitations, as he has shown a lack of the quickness needed to stay in front of guards. This will obviously translate into more of a problem defending in the NBA.
At best I feel like the Hawks landed an excellent jump-shooter to come off the bench in Jenkins.
With the 43rd pick, the Hawks selected power forward Mike Scott out of Virginia. At 6’8″ and 235 lbs, Scott is another undersized player, especially for an NBA power forward, and he isn’t nearly quick enough to consistently guard NBA small forwards. (sound familiar?)
In size and skill set, Scott most resembles Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem, but with only a fraction of the raw talent. Scott is an excellent rebounder, but shows weakness in his ability to block shots and create steals.
I look at Scott as a reach, and a possible project. He’s another piece of the puzzle for the Hawks bench, and could be an eventual replacement for Marvin Williams.
Obviously there is still time before the season begins for GM Danny Ferry to make trades and moves, but I would have liked to have seen the Hawks do more to solidify the starting five on draft night.
My grade for the Hawks 2012 draft: C-