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The Young Stars of the adidas Eurocamp

Basketball Insiders Nate Duncan scouts the best young talent and potential future NBA prospects at adidas Eurocamp 2014.

Nate Duncan

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The 2014 adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy was notable for the massive amount of young talent present.  The shoe company was able to bring over the best talent from the inaugural season of its Gauntlet all-star circuit, including a number of top-20 prospects in the 2015 and 2016 high school classes.   The Eurocamp also featured intriguing young talent born in 1998 and 1999 in the Next Generation group of players who practiced separately. Today we will examine the best of these younger players, saving this year’s potential NBA draftees for a few days hence.


Thon Maker

Class of 2016 seven-footer Thon Maker has been compared to both Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett due to his thin frame and shooting ability, but aside from borrowing KD’s rip through move neither of those comparisons particularly holds water. Maker is much less athletic than either comparison, and as a result is not much of a rebounder or shotblocker at this stage despite standing 7’0 with a 7’2 wingspan.

Maker’s strengths start with his jump shot. He has a pure and easy release, and already possesses the smoothness and footwork to shoot off the pick and pop with range. Maker did not quite appear comfortable shooting from NBA three-point range in Treviso, but was money out to the college line and should have no problems extending his range in time. He was also effective scoring in isolation, although he struggled to create separation. He was not able to get by his man to the rim, and often would pick up his dribble in midrange after an unsuccessful attempt to back down–and then hit a nearly impossible shot anyway. Maker drained a number of attempts where he was chested off balance by the defender, and also unveiled a Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fadeaway. It got to the point where it was surprising if he missed a jumper, no matter how difficult the attempt.

The Sudanese native also showed some nice passing ability out of the post, finding shooters on the weakside a couple of times. That was noteworthy on a U.S. team that had a mere eight assists in a 119-85 loss to the Eurocamp All-Stars. Another strength was his lateral quickness. He had absolutely no problems staying with guards either hedging or straight switching the pick and roll, and his defensive intensity was solid for someone of his experience level. In fact, he appeared to be a leader on the US team, as he was the most active calling out the plays and directing his teammates.

Maker’s biggest problem, and by extension that of this U.S. team, was his inability to block shots or rebound. That was not due to lack of effort, as he made consistent efforts to challenge shots, fight in the post and hit the glass. He just came up short due to his physical limitations, as he would have rebounds ripped out of his hands, barely miss shot blocks and get backed down by players weighing up to 50 pounds more than him. Consequently, the US team gave up 54 percent offensive rebounding and a 138 offensive rating to the Eurocamp All-Stars and got similarly bludgeoned by the French U-20 team and Canadian National Champions Carleton University.* In the game against the Eurocamp All-Stars, Maker had one defensive rebound and zero blocks in 31 minutes.

*Due to the five years of college eligibility in Canada, this team featured many mature 21-24 year olds. Although they didn’t really play anyone over 6’7, their experience, three-point shooting and solid defensive system under coach Dave Smart was extremely effective. They dropped 14-36 threes on the US team that was not remotely used to guarding the NBA three-point line.

Maker also showed little ability to get to the basket, and was not the greatest finisher on the rare occasions US guards were able to get him the ball there. He has average explosiveness and wasn’t really able to turn it over and dunk despite a few attempts.

His ability to put on weight and improve his floor game is the biggest variable in whether he can fulfill the top-ten or even top-five aspirations many have for him. He will never have the heft to be a center, but he needs to be playable at the four to really take advantage of his amazing jump shot for his size. If he can hold up in those areas, he should be a major weapon out of the pick-and-pop, although he may never have the quickness or strength to be a superior isolation or post up scorer even if he can hold up well enough on D. That is why his ceiling seems more top-ten pick than top-five, and why his ranking as the number one recruit in the 2016 class is optimistic. It should also be noted that his February 1997* birthday would normally place him in the class of 2015, and there is talk he may in fact reclassify. But the comparatively early birth date must be included in computing his ceiling.

*Some scouts have expressed skepticism over his birth date due to his Sudanese origin, but the fact he moved to Australia at age five (presumably before anyone would have realized an incentive to lie about his age) somewhat assuages those concerns.  EDIT: One NBA front officer made a good point to me, namely that Maker conveniently started kindergarten at the requisite “age five” in Australia upon emigrating. Coming from war-torn Sudan, it is quite possible that neither he nor his parents know his precise age and he was started in school at the age that made the most sense.

Dragan Bender

We first saw Bender as a 16 year-old on the adidas Next Generation team of younger prospects last year. He recently signed a seven-year contract with Maccabi Tel-Aviv (NBA out unknown). As the youngest participant in the main camp this year, Bender largely played the four and struggled. He was willing to take outside shots but largely did not hit them, with some pretty bad misses. The Croatian appeared to be a bit of a thumber, i.e. he uses his thumb on his left hand while shooting. This leads to inconsistency, and he had a number of misses left or right.

Bender has grown some since last year, standing 6’11 with a 9’3 standing reach and 7’1 wingspan. He remains a rail thin 202 pounds, and struggled to bang inside. He did show small flashes on the offensive glass and some passing ability, but overall did not appear to have much chance of scoring aside from what was created by others. And he of course had trouble finishing inside due to his frame, as he was often bumped off course on the way to the rim.

Bender appeared to be pressing, especially with his jump shot.* At this stage he is more effective using his length to affect shots and filling in the gaps offensively while letting the game come to him. It must be emphasized that he is by no means a stiff at his height, with solid mobility and the ability to get into a stance defensively while seeing if not necessarily successfully executing advanced passes at times. He possesses the ability to grab and go at the lower levels as well, though we saw little of that from him here.

Bender should develop nicely in Maccabi’s system, especially if they can put a little weight on him. Dominant scoring does not appear to be in his future, but if he can become a threat from downtown and his floor game fills out he could be an NBA prospect as a stretch four.

*Granted, he was shooting like he expected to make them, so perhaps he usually does more often.

Dennis Smith

Smith had a lethargic first two days of the camp, leading me to tweet that the 6’2 point guard was less athletic than advertised. The North Carolina 910 area code native (as he trumpets on his Twitter) also struggled to get much going from a playmaking perspective, and unsurprisingly got torched in the pick-and-roll by point guards three and four years his senior. His attitude and body language were not the best either, and as one of the younger players he was unable to provide the typical leadership from the point.

But Smith had a much better showing offensively against Carleton University on Monday, getting to the rim against the packed in defense while showing nice change of direction on his jump stop and solid extension when finishing off two feet. His one foot jump is less impressive though. Overall he has above-average but not blinding quickness and ballhandling moves. He has solid form on his jump shot even out to the NBA three-point line, although he struggled overall on jumpers because he had to take some bad ones with the unfamiliar 24 second shot clock running down.

It should be noted that Smith is only a rising high school junior, with a class-appropriate November 1997 birthday. He may grow another inch or two, which would be a real game-changer for him as a prospect. But even at his current size he certainly has eventual first-round potential.

Brandon Ingram

The excitement about Ingram comes much more from his potential than what he was able to do on the court in Treviso. At a listed 6’8, 180, he simply did not have the strength to get anything done playing against men. His frame makes Dragan Bender look like an Adonis. Skill-wise, Ingram was able to hit some tough jumpers, and showed great extension on a few finishes when he was able to catch the ball inside. But Ingram was a total nonfactor on the glass, in the passing lanes and blocking shots, all of which were disappointing given his length. He can’t really get up off two feet. His lateral quickness and explosiveness off the dribble were below average in this setting as well, but his length and smooth shot provide some projectability. To mature into an NBA prospect he will need to hit the squat rack and consume 1,000 protein shakes over the next year.*

*I am not saying that to be flip; three 50 gram protein shakes per day is about what a kid like Ingram needs.

Kobi Jordan-Simmons

Others were wowed by Jordan-Simmons’ potential, but the July 1997-born point guard was less impressive to me based on his performance here. The case for Jordan-Simmons begins with his listed 6’5 height/wingspan and what appeared to be solid shooting ability on just a few attempts. But he struggled to bring the ball up against pressure by his intense but relatively slow (by NBA standards) opponents. He really was not able to get by anyone into the lane, and did not show particularly impressive hops either. His very thin frame is likely to max out at a Jamal Crawford level at best, but he doesn’t appear to have that kind of handle or athleticism. Maybe I caught him on a bad few days, but it was difficult to see what the fuss was about.


Top ranked High schooler Jaylen Brown talks about playing in front of NBA GMs, traveling to Italy and whats next for his blossoming career.

Jaylen Brown

Atlanta native Jaylen Brown leaped off the court as by far the best prospect at the Eurocamp. Brown has Stanley Johnson’s haircut and a similarly strong body, but he is a much better prospect due to his superior ball skills and explosion. Brown looked like a sure top-ten pick and possible contender for the top-five in 2016, revealing no worrisome weaknesses in his two games in Treviso. The story starts with his excellent physical profile, standing a legitimate 6’7 in shoes and 6’10 wingspan. At 207 pounds, he was stronger than the European competitors a year or two his senior.* More impressive is his fantastic leaping off either one or two feet. The latter was particularly noteworthy as he blocked four shots in his first game against the French Under-20 team.

*One small ding for Brown’s potential is his relatively early October 1996 birthday for his class.

Brown possesses a nice shooting-guard level handle and is a freight train attacking the basket in transition. He also had enough shake to get to the basket off the dribble in the halfcourt in this setting, and his finishing was a revelation. Brown was able to create separation at the rim, bouncing off opposing big men and finishing with either hand and often getting foul calls from even the notoriously stingy Eurocamp referees. He shot 19 free throws in two games (he missed the third game as he had to return to the US for the U-18 FIBA Americas tryouts) and got fouled 13 times.*

*International box scores are far superior to even NBA box scores, including data such as how many times a player was fouled and how many times he had his shot blocked. There is no reason NCAA box scores should be so much worse, as they do not even include simple plus-minus.

The US annually produces a few players of this ilk, but what really set Brown apart was his shooting ability. The Eurocamp uses the NBA 3 point line, and he went 2-3 from that range over the two games while hitting another few FIBA threes both on spot ups or off the dribble. It was a small sample size, but his range appeared very solid for a 17 year-old. His step back game is excellent, facilitated by using his strong body to create separation and his strong legs to power up after stepping back.

Brown’s individual defense waxed and waned as for many kids his age, but he showed the ability to lock down at times. As the U.S. was getting torched by Vasa Micic and the Eurocamp All-Stars and the game started getting out of hand, he took on the challenge of guarding the Serbian point guard and got right into him, forcing a turnover and showing great feet and intensity on a few other possessions.

Lauding Browns’ shooting, defense, and off-the-dribble game leaves few facets of the game to constitute his weaknesses. He did not throw a single memorable pass in the two games, although the spacing and cohesiveness wasn’t up to the level of the rest of the camp to facilitate that. And the U.S. team got massacred on the offensive glass by the Eurocamp All-Stars, for which Brown must share some blame despite being by far the leading rebounder for the US.

This was only two games, but Brown looked like a superior wing prospect to anyone in the high school class of 2014. The main caveat is that extremely athletic American wings can look a lot better in an international setting than against their athletic peers, with a prime example the performances of Aaron Gordon and Justise Winslow at the 2013 U-19 World Championships in Prague.* I will be looking forward to seeing whether Brown can sustain this effort assuming he attends adidas Nations later this summer.

*It should be noted that Saturday’s opponent, the French U-20 team, had plenty of athletes.

Isaiah Hartenstein

The son of former Oregon Duck Flo Hartenstein, the 6’9, 207 pound 1998-born Hartenstein is the rare young European prospect with solid explosion off two feet.  He dominated physically against his age-group peers as part of adidas’ Next Generation group of younger prospects.  The lefty showed range out of the FIBA three-point line and the ability to put the ball on the floor to his left and get to the basket.  He dominated on the offensive glass, even dunking after coming down with rebounds.  Hartenstein makes quick decisions and even threw a few nice passes off his drives.  The only disappointment was his lack of shot-blocking.  He will certainly be a player to watch in the coming years.

Nate Duncan is an NBA analyst and attorney. He writes regular features for Basketball Insiders and chats weekly at 11 Eastern on Tuesdays.

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The Best of the Undrafted Players

David Yapkowitz breaks down the best players who weren’t drafted in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

David Yapkowitz

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Ben Wallace, Raja Bell, Avery Johnson, David Wesley, John Starks; those are just a few former NBA players who didn’t hear their name called on draft night, yet went on to have pretty impressive careers.

Each year there are a few undrafted players who end up making a team’s roster and turn out to be solid contributors. This past season, players like Ron Baker of the New York Knicks, Yogi Ferrell of the Dallas Mavericks, and Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns went undrafted in 2016 yet ended up as regular rotation guys for their teams. In Ferrell’s case, he became a starter.

With the 2017 NBA Draft come and gone, here’s a look at some of the top undrafted players who might be able to strengthen a team’s roster.

Johnathan Motley

Johnathan Motley was the best player on a Baylor team that was a No.3 seed and made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 17.3 points per game on 52.2 percent shooting and pulled down 9.9 rebounds per game.

At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Motley is definitely in the mold of a versatile wing player who can play multiple positions and thrive and in today’s NBA. What he needs to do, however, is improve his outside shot. He shot only 28.1 percent from three-point range. One crucial aspect for hybrid forwards is to be able to step out and hit long range jumpers.

His stock often fluctuated in various mock drafts; some had him going in the first round, others in the second. Per The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Motley signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

P.J. Dozier

P.J. Dozier was one-half of South Carolina’s star duo that helped propel them to a Cinderella run to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. The other half, Sindarius Thornwell, had his name called, but at the end of the night, Dozier was still waiting.

Only a sophomore, Dozier was the second leading scorer for the Gamecocks with 13.9 points per game. He was always projected to go in the second round on most mocks and perhaps he came out a bit too early. The talent is there though.

He can have success as a team’s combo guard off the bench. He will need to work on his shooting though. He shot only 40.7 percent from the field, 29.8 percent from three. He’ll be in summer league with the Los Angeles Lakers, and from there will hope to entice a team to bring him to training camp.

Melo Trimble

Melo Trimble might have been one of those players that needed to strike while the iron’s hot. Two years ago, he was talked about as a probable first-round pick had he declared for the draft after his freshman year at Maryland. Instead, he stayed until his junior year and his stock fell.

He actually turned in an impressive junior campaign with 16.8 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. He shot a respectable 44.4 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range.

Trimble will play summer league with the Philadelphia 76ers, and like most undrafted free agents, will look to turn his performance into a training camp invitation. He probably projects to be a backup point guard should he find a place in the league. He had first round and possible lottery talent before, however, so maybe all he needs is an opportunity.

Devin Robinson

In today’s game, where teams put a premium on versatile, do it all type players who can play multiple positions, Devin Robinson certainly fits that description. Robinson is a long, athletic forward who can step out and hit outside jumpers while locking up his opponent’s best wing scorer.

Florida had a surprisingly solid run in the NCAA Tournament and Robinson was a big part of that. His junior year, his best year yet, saw him average 11.1 points per game on 47.5 percent from the field and 6.1 rebounds. He showed a much improved outside shot, connecting on 39.1 percent of his looks from downtown. In the tournament, he upped his averages to 28.3 points on similar shooting percentages.

Robinson will be in summer league with the Washington Wizards, a team that often times lacked production off their bench last season. Depending on how he performs in summer league, don’t be surprised to see him on the Wizards roster come opening night.

Nigel Hayes

Playing in the shadow of Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker in years past, Nigel Hayes was given an opportunity as a senior at Wisconsin to show what he could do as the focal point of an offense. His numbers didn’t jump off the page, but he did play well enough to be given a shot at making a team’s roster.

His 14 points per game were good enough to tie teammate Ethan Happ for the second leading scorer on the team. As a power forward, he was actually the second leading assist man with 2.7. One area he’ll need to improve on to make an impact in the NBA is his outside jumper. He shot 39.6 percent from three his sophomore season. This year it was down to 31.4 despite taking a similar number of attempts (2.5 and 1.9 respectively).

Hayes looks to be one of those players in between positions. He lacks the quickness and range to thrive at small forward but is a bit undersized at the NBA level for power forward. He is an incredible energy player, though, and players like that have been able to carve out nice careers. He’ll be in summer league with the Knicks, and given their current state of affairs, they need all the help they can get.

L.J. Peak

In the mock drafts that projected him to be drafted, L.J. Peak was most likely going to be a second round pick. That’s not to say he doesn’t have first round talent. He’s a big guard that can play both guard positions.

Despite Georgetown’s futile record this season, Peak was a standout. He was the team’s second-leading scorer at 16.2 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field. He was also their top playmaker, dishing out 3.5 assists. In the NBA, he most likely can find a role for some team as a combo guard off the bench. He only shot 32.7 percent from the beyond the arc, however, so if he wants to make an impact in the league that’s one area he’ll need some work.

He’s set to go to summer league with the Houston Rockets. Depending on what roster moves the Rockets make, it will be tough for Peak to make the final team. They already have two guards capable of playing both guard spots off the bench in Lou Williams and Isaiah Taylor. Taylor’s contract isn’t guaranteed, but he probably has the inside track due to his familiarity with the team. In any case, a strong summer showing should lead Peak to a training camp invite with another team, if not the Rockets.

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NBA PM: Losers Of The 2017 NBA Draft

Who were the two parties who came out of draft night worse off than they went in? Spencer Davies explores.

Spencer Davies

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As the book closes on the 2017 NBA Draft, the league takes a bit of a break before going full throttle into the free agency portion of the off-season.

Before we get there, though, Basketball Insiders will take a look at the winners and losers of Thursday’s draft to get you caught up. Our own Benny Nadeau already took care of the former, so this piece will focus on the two parties who came out of the night worse off than they did going into it.

Early Entrants Going Undrafted

The amount of talent in this year’s draft class was undeniable, so those that decided to come out of college too soon instead of returning to school for another year suffered tremendously.

Let’s take a look at some notable undrafted players that entered as underclassmen:

Kobi Simmons

Simmons was an interesting story this past season with the Arizona Wildcats. It was a difficult one-and-done season for Simmons, as he had trouble converting on the perimeter (33 percent) and contributing anything other than scoring.

In the first couple of months as a freshman, he was basically an every game starter and played at least 28 minutes per game for the team. As the year wound down, though, the 6-5, 175-pound shooting guard barely saw the court, and the time he was given came during blowouts.

His decision to enter the draft was questionable and a gamble, and most teams saw it the same way. Luckily for Simmons, he was reportedly able to come to an agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies on a free agent contract.

P.J. Dozier

A player that surprisingly didn’t get selected was P.J. Dozier from South Carolina. In his sophomore season, the 20-year-old swingman took on a much heavier workload and dramatically improved his game on both ends of the floor.

Dozier was one of the best defenders in the SEC and in the entire NCAA, as well as an aggressor on offense. He was not bashful and took his new role in stride. Over the course of one year, he attempted six more field goals per game and upped his three-point success by 8.5 percentage points.

He also snatched almost two more rebounds per game and averaged nearly two steals for the Gamecocks. Dozier going undrafted was a head scratcher, but the Los Angeles Lakers made sure he landed on his feet with a deal.

Isaiah Briscoe

Briscoe is more of a hybrid type with a bulky build for a backcourt player. In two seasons under John Calipari at Kentucky, he was pretty consistent with his game as somebody who will give you a little bit of everything.

He’s not particularly a good shooter, but he can get some rebounds and dish it out to make the right plays. You’ll see that with when he’s playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in Summer League.

Antonio Blakeney

Blakeney—a sophomore guard from LSU—proved that he can shoot the basketball and be a pure scorer (17.2 points per game) when given the opportunity, but what about the defensive end of the floor? He’ll need to work on that, as well as his all-around game that won’t make him a one-dimensional threat.

He hasn’t received an offer from a team yet, but he’ll likely get a chance to showcase his talents in either Orlando or Las Vegas.

The trend here seems obvious—if you’re a shooting guard and haven’t gotten at least three years of college experience, it may not be wise to declare. Executives understand that they need players with the “do-it-all” quality and not just pure scorers that can’t bring more than one or two skills to the table.

Chicago Bulls

Over the past week, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Jimmy Butler and his future with the Bulls. There were rumors all over linking him mainly to the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the dark horse candidate to land the All-Star was the one to pull the trigger.

After the first selection in the draft was made, the Minnesota Timberwolves came to an agreement with Chicago that reunited Butler with his former coach of four years, Tom Thibodeau. The deal came a few weeks after an exit interview regarding the team’s direction that reportedly went well.

The 27-year-old’s trainer didn’t hide his displeasure about the move, but it’s understandable from the perspective of VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman, who strived to “set a direction” for the franchise.

However, what they received in return for Butler was not nearly enough for a man that is just now entering his prime as one of the best two-way players in the game today. In exchange for Butler, the Wolves sent Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to Chicago. Furthermore, the Bulls were able to move up nine spots in the draft, but it cost them their 16th pick to do so.

LaVine is as exciting as a player as any young talent in the NBA, but he’ll enter the season coming off a brutal ACL tear that ended his year prematurely. It will probably be a little while before the 22-year-old sees the floor, and, as the centerpiece of this trade, it’s definitely risky not knowing how he’ll respond to the injury.

While Dunn could have plenty of promise as the starting point guard of the future, his rookie season in Minnesota left a lot to be desired. The only defense of his inclusion as one of the key pieces in this transaction is being a top five pick in last year’s draft with untapped potential.

With the seventh overall selection, Chicago drafted Lauri Markkanen out of Arizona. In his lone season under Sean Miller, the seven-footer was a key cog in the Wildcats’ run in the PAC-12 and NCAA tournaments.

The talent is clearly there as a sharpshooting stretch four or five, but with Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic already in the mix at power forward, the fit may be a problem. He could see some time at center, but remember, Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio, and Joffrey Lauvergne are holding down the fort there, too.

Markkanen’s situation will all depend on if qualifying offers are made to Mirotic, Felicio, and Lauvergne.

To add the cherry on top of the Bulls’ rough night, they excited some fans of the organization when they took Jordan Bell out of Oregon early in the second round. That hope quickly diminished when the Golden State Warriors paid $3.5 million for the pick, and Chicago agreed to send him to the Bay.

Bell was one of the sexier names in the draft for a good reason, but the money was more important to the Bulls, who will have some more decisions to make this summer with their veterans on the roster likely not wanting to be a part of the rebuild.

Without their superstar of the last three years, and still with an inexperienced head coach like Fred Hoiberg to develop the young talent brought into the organization, it’s going to be a little while before basketball is king again in the Windy City.

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Hawks Didn’t Expect John Collins To Fall To 19

Newly-minted Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk had a relatively easy decision drafting John Collins at 19.

Buddy Grizzard

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During Travis Schlenk’s first NBA Draft as Atlanta GM, fortune smiled as center John Collins of Wake Forest, a player rated highly on Atlanta’s draft board, fell to the 19th pick.

“Through the whole week, we had guys ranked, and he was the highest guy there,” said Schlenk to assembled media at the Omni Hotel, adjacent to Philips Arena. “We thought he’d go a little higher. We had a couple options on the board to move back, but once we saw that John was going to be there, we didn’t entertain any of those.”

Schlenk added that Atlanta also tried to move up but was unable to execute a trade.

“We did have some conversations about trying to move up,” said Schlenk. “We had one player that we targeted that we really wanted to move up for but were unable to do so.”

The process of building the team’s draft depth chart was collaborative, Schlenk added, which meant Collins’ selection was by consensus rather than by decree. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was among those whose input factored into the selection.

“I have a lot of faith in the group that was here before I got here,” said Schlenk. “They’ve been a huge asset to me coming in here in the middle of this process. As I’ve stated all along, I view Coach Bud and I’s relationship as a partnership. It doesn’t do us any good to take a guy that he doesn’t like, so he’s got a voice in it for sure.”

Schlenk was asked about areas where Collins needs to improve and didn’t shy away from questions about his defense.

“That was kind of the knock on him at Wake Forest,” said Schlenk. “But a lot of times, especially in college — when you’re the main focal point — you’ll see the best offensive player doesn’t want to get in foul trouble so he can stay on the floor. We interviewed him in Chicago. That’s what he said: “Coach Manning said, ‘Don’t get in foul trouble, I can’t afford to have you off the court.'”

The Hawks GM also talked about Collins’ shortcomings as a shooter.

“One of the first things we’re going to work on with him is a jump shot,” said Schlenk. “In college, all his scoring came in the post. And he’s got a good post game. We just need to extend his range out, especially the way we play and the way the league’s going.”

But overall, Schlenk was extremely positive about the opportunity to add a player with the upside of Collins, a player who is far from a finished product.

“Last year you saw his athleticism, and then the big jump that he’s made from his freshman year to his sophomore year,” Schlenk said. “Obviously, being the most improved player in the ACC, you see the growth he’s made. And he’s still a 19-year-old kid, so there’s still a lot of room to grow.”

In the second round, Atlanta selected shooting guard Tyler Dorsey, who shot 56 percent from three and averaged 23 points during Oregon’s run to the Final Four. The Hawks also selected 6-10 French center Alpha Kaba of Mega Leks, a likely draft-and-stash candidate. With Collins’ youth and lack of polish, it may take some time to judge Schlenk’s first draft. But fortunately for him, the decision was a relatively easy one since the team didn’t expect Collins to fall all the way to 19 where Atlanta could grab him.

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