Atlanta Hawks Need to Avoid Johnny O'Bryant III in 2014 NBA Draft

By Andrew Shaw
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Another player the Atlanta Hawks have had in for a workout already is Johnny O’Bryant III out of LSU. The forward is not a guy the Hawks are targeting with their first-round pick, but they certainly are keeping an eye on him as a potential selection in the second. O’Bryant had a solid career at the college level, but didn’t quite develop like scouts had hoped he would after coming in as a highly-touted recruit in high school. So this begs the question, is he even worthy of a second-round pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft?

Considering some of the other options that could potentially be out there at this point, I would say no. If someone such as Elfrid Payton out of Louisiana-Lafayette or Jordan McRae from the University of Tennessee are on the board in the second round when the Hawks go to pick, they have to choose one of them over O’Bryant. Both McRae and Payton are not as risky of a selection whereas with the LSU forward, you really don’t know what you are going to get at the NBA level.

He’s not only limited in his offensive game, but he’s also not the quick, agile player the Hawks need to add to their roster for a guy of his size. Standing at 6-foot-8, you need to be more athletic in order to succeed at the NBA level, and he’s not. He is a slow forward who wants to muscle his way into the paint for an easy bucket.

Therefore, if O’Bryant is on the board in the second round when the Hawks go to pick, they cannot select him. He’s just not the right fit in Atlanta. Under coach Mike Budenholzer‘s offensive system, he wants versatile forwards such as Mike Scott because of their ability to hit outside shots and attack the interior, not someone like O’Bryant who can only hit jumpers within 15 feet. Plus, there are far too many other options for Atlanta to consider in a deep, talented draft before even thinking about selecting the LSU forward.

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

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