Kirschner: My final question, and it relates to the draft. After putting this breakdown together, what do you feel is needed for the Hawks come October to advance in their rebuilding process?
Vecenie: Yeah, if I was Schlenk, I’d be looking for the best non-lead ballhandler, non-center available. The team has a relative answer at center in Capela, as well as a guy in Collins who should get at least 10 minutes there per game in smaller lineups. And even if neither of those guys ends up being “the guy,” it’s easy enough to find centers on the free agency marketplace if necessary. Really, I’d just keep building the way that Schlenk has since drafting Young. Keep selecting awesome wings and forwards that can help the team grow.
In that vein, given that the Hawks likely will be somewhere between No. 4 and No. 7 on draft night, I’d look at a few names. Tyrese Haliburton would make a ton of sense for them as an off-ball guard who can play next to Young, play as a backup point guard and keep the ball moving on the perimeter even when it gets sticky with Young. Isaac Okoro makes some sense from a defensive perspective, and plenty of executives around the NBA buy into his offensive upside. Devin Vassell would represent a similar “reachy” type of pick at that level to Hunter last year as a two-way wing who can knock down shots and is a high-level off-ball defender, but in this down draft class at the top, I think such a player makes sense for Atlanta. You can certainly make a case for Deni Avdija if you think he’s going to shoot it long-term. Finally, if the team moves up in the draft lottery, Anthony Edwards possesses the upside of a two-way athletic wing who would really be helped by playing more off-ball next to Young. He has to improve drastically defensively, but the tools are there.