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NBA Atlanta Hawks

2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Who Atlanta Hawks Should Target

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5 Players the Atlanta Hawks Should Target

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA Draft has the potential to be one of the strongest drafts in recent memory, which means the Atlanta Hawks have a good chance to get another piece to the puzzle in order to reach the ultimate goal – a championship.

With so many talented freshmen and upperclassmen at the college level, teams should be able to find players who can step in right away deep into the second round. Now, things can change quickly depending on the decision of a number of freshmen, such as Jabari Parker and Julius Randle.

If these players decide to stay in college for another year, this draft could end up being a weak one, but let’s hope this doesn't happen. All of these freshmen have way too much potential and are predicted to be drafted in the top 10, which means they should go now while their stock is high.

In the end, it’s up to the player, and who can blame a kid if he wants to stay another year in college? Either way the 2014 NBA Draft could be a good one for the Hawks. They probably won't have a top-10 pick unless things go bad in a hurry this season, but they should be around the 15th pick this year.

Being in the middle of the pack isn't such a bad thing in this draft either. There’s a ton of talented players who could step in right away and make an immediate impact for Atlanta next season.

In last year’s draft, GM Danny Ferry decided to go the international route when he drafted Dennis Schroeder and Lucas Nogueira in the first round. Will he do the same this time around? Or should he consider getting guys from college after seeing a player such as Mike Scott blossom this season?

Check out my top five targets to see who I believe the Hawks need to focus on heading into the 2014 NBA Draft.

Andrew Shaw is an Atlanta Hawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow Him on Twitter @AShaw003, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. James McAdoo

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

James McAdoo is an interesting target for the Hawks. He's been predicted to go anywhere from the middle of the first round to early in the second round, which means Atlanta could find a gem if he falls to the second round. He's not worth a risk with the Hawks first pick at the moment, but he has the potential to shoot up draft boards following his workouts and progress at the college level.

If this is the case, Atlanta might need to consider drafting the athletic power forward. McAdoo would be a great option off the bench for coach Mike Budenholzer. He provides the Hawks with another solid defender who will challenge shots at the rim, and also brings the ability to score every time he takes the floor as well.

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4. Nik Stauskas

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

You can never have enough shooters on your team, and that's exactly what Nik Stauskas brings to the table. There's a good chance Stauskas returns to Michigan next year, but for Atlanta's sake, let's hope he decides to stay in the draft.

He probably won't go in the first round, so like McAdoo, he might be a steal with a second-round pick. At 6-foot-6, he has the size to compete in the NBA and brings a sweet shot with him as well. As one of the best 3-point shooters in college, Stauskas would come off the bench to provide instant offense for the Hawks.

In fact, I bet if you gave him a year to learn from the NBA's best 3-point shooter, Kyle Korver, he would turn out to be just like him. The Hawks need a couple more shooters on the team who are deadly from beyond the arc, and Stauskas gives them the perfect target to go after to fill this need in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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3. Jerami Grant

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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jerami Grant is a player Atlanta has to consider with their first pick in the NBA Draft. Grant should be available in the middle of the first round and would be a great fit for the Hawks. The talented wing player brings a lot of attributes to the table that Atlanta could utilize right away.

He's very similar to DeMarre Carroll in terms of playing defense, but unlike Carroll, Grant is more of a scorer. He can create his own shot whenever he wants and attacks the basket at will throughout the course of a game in order to make an impact offensively.

However, the only area he needs a little improvement with is his outside game. If he can get a little better from beyond the arc, which is something Carroll is really good at, then Grant has the potential to be special in the NBA with the Hawks.

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2. Willie Cauley-Stein

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

If the Hawks want to find a player who will start right away, they need to target Willie Cauley-Stein out of Kentucky. The athletic center finally gives Atlanta the chance to put Al Horford at the power forward position, which makes the former NBA All-Star even more effective down low.

His offensive game may need some work, but in coach Bud's system, he won't be expected to score right away. He's a raw talent who will need some time to develop his offensive game before becoming a dominant force in the league.

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1. Andrew Wiggins

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This might be wishful thinking, but Andrew Wiggins needs to be the top target for the Hawks. Atlanta will not get the chance to draft him unless they get lucky in the NBA lottery, but if GM Danny Ferry has the chance to trade up, he has to take it. Not a lot of players in this draft have the potential of Wiggins.

Since Joe Johnson left, the Hawks have been missing a player who can take the team on his back late in the game to pull out a win. Wiggins could be that guy for Atlanta, which is why Ferry needs to go all-in for young shooting guard from Canada. He's the final piece of the puzzle for the Hawks in order to reach their ultimate goal -- a championship.