Not many players possess power and strength in the 2014 NBA Draft like Jarnell Stokes out of the University of Tennessee. Stokes has a little bit of a mean streak in him as well and when he wants to be a dominant force down low in the paint, he can turn up the intensity in a heartbeat. The best part about the Tennessee forward is that he could be available for the Atlanta Hawks with their second-round pick.
It wouldn’t surprise me if some team reached for him in the first round, but for a player at his height who plays a position loaded with size at the next level, I highly doubt it. However, don’t let Stokes’ height influence you too much. Despite standing at 6-foot-8, you can never question his motor and willingness to fight for every loose ball or rebound. He gives it his all every time he takes the court, which is very similar to a player the Hawks already have on their roster in DeMarre Carroll.
However, in order for Stokes to be successful in the NBA, there is a few things he should pick up from Carroll. The Tennessee forward has to become a better shooter from the mid-range. In college, he was great right around the rim, but if you forced him out of the paint, he struggled to hit jumpers. If he can improve this aspect of his game, Stokes could possibly be a great asset off the bench for Atlanta.
This is especially true if the Hawks decide to let the veteran Elton Brand go. He has stated that he would love to come back due to his health and productivity this previous season with Atlanta. However, GM Danny Ferry might decide to go the younger route and bring in someone like Stokes instead. He averaged 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game with the Volunteers, which means he’s an improvement already in the offensive department.