With the 2023 NBA Draft exactly one month away, coming off a season that resulted in a 41-41 record for the Atlanta Hawks, the franchise has been slotted for the 15th pick in the first-round and the 46th overall pick in the second-round by way of the New Orleans Pelicans from the draft day trade in 2019.
While it’s already a forgone conclusion that the San Antonio Spurs will use the 1st overall pick to select French big man Victor Wembanyama, Hawks fans will have the next four weeks to contemplate and speculate as to what direction the team will head in when it’s time to make that pick.
Stone Hanson, NBA reporter and co-host of the Upside Swings podcast, hopped on with Chris Goforth on Saturday to give his thoughts on who he thinks should be on the Hawks radar when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver puts them on the clock. Hanson seems to think that Atlanta will lean in the direction of adding to the backcourt and bringing in a proven scorer
“Brice Sensabaugh is a name I like, especially to fall to the Hawks,” Hanson said. “We really don’t know the long term future of some of the guys on the roster so that just leads me to go with the best player available. Brice Sensabaugh is someone with a real compact shooting form and the shooting is excellent, he really doesn’t need much room to get it off.”
The 6’6”, 235 lb. freshman from Ohio State does most of his work on the floor from midrange but can score from all three levels. He averaged 23.9 ppg and 7.9 reb last season while knocking down shots from beyond the arc at a 41% clip with 4.5 attempts per game.
Another player Hanson thinks the Hawks should consider adding to the roster with that mid-first-round pick is Arkansas G Nick Smith Jr. Considered a likely top-5 pick before the beginning of last season, he only appeared in only 17 games due to a knee injury and his stock dropped considerably. He struggled to find consistency in the offense, mainly due to the injury and the lack of shooting on the Razorbacks as a unit. Coming out of high school, he did show that he could be a solid playmaker so one would hope that would be more indicative of his long-term NBA potential.
While GM Landry Fields will be going into his first full season on the job and former Hawks sharp-shooter Kyle Korver there to assist, don’t count out that new head coach Quin Snyder will also be involved in forming the roster for the 2023-24 NBA season.