With the Atlanta Hawks going all San Antonio Spurs on us by hiring Danny Ferry as the general manager and then he selects Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, would the Hawks also take the Spurs philosophy in the draft as well? Recently there were some comments reported about Gregg Popovich, his feelings about international players and American born players concerning team play. Coach "Bud" has stated to the local media that his style of play will be very similar to the Spurs and he will be looking for players that will fit in and buy into the philosophy one hundred percent. So, does that mean that the Atlanta Hawks are going to draft international players like the Spurs?
We all know the Spurs have had success with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. San Antonio has six other players on their roster who have learned the game in areas outside of the states. According to "Pop" those players work harder at the fundamentals than do American born guys. He has stated that foreign players are more coachable typically because they don't have the American AAU ego. It is hard to argue with his philosophy considering the success that the Spurs have had over the past 15 seasons or so. If that is the mentality that the Hawks are going to take then consider these names going into this year's NBA Draft.
The first is a young German point guard named Dennis Schroeder. Schroeder is described as an extremely quick, penetrating guard. He has a long wingspan, good ball handling skills and is a passer. With the interest that he has picked up, Schroeder may not be around when the Hawks pick at 17 but if he is don't be surprised if his name is called. The next guy is Rudy Gobert, who is a big man from France. Gobert is big, the young man is 7'2" with a 7'9" wingspan but it is unknown how NBA ready he is. He is described as an athletic player with explosive hops which could make him an immediate defensive presence.
Two other names to look for as the Hawks draft are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Sergey Karasev. Antetokounmpo is a young forward who is being called a point forward for his ball handling and passing ability. He is long and athletic but his outside shot and strength have been targeted as areas of concern. Karasey is a 6'7" shooting guard who is a known slash and passer. His court vision is said to be great but his strength and athleticism seem to be his areas of weakness.
Atlanta has two picks in the first round and two picks in the second, depending on how the picks come off the boards some of these players may fall to the Hawks and we will all be watching to see how they continue to build the team.
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