With the 15th pick in the draft, the Hawks selected Adreian Payne from Michigan State University. Payne is a 6’9″ 240 pound forward. What makes him interesting is he was one of the few draftees in this years draft that actually graduated from college. Payne spent 4 years under Coach Tom Izzo, which was one of the main reasons Danny Ferry selected him in the first round. Payne can stretch the floor and open lanes due to his ability to shoot the 3 efficiently. Payne averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds in his last season at Michigan State. Payne will fit in Coach Budenholzer’s system of spreading the floor and keeping the temp high.
The Hawks drafted Walter Tavares in the second round of the draft with the 43rd pick. Tavares is a 7’2″ center from Gran Canaria of the Spanish ACB League. Tavares is 260 pounds with a 7’9″ wingspan. While he only played 21.2 minutes per game, Tavares averaged 10.2 points and 11.5 rebounds per 36 minutes on 58.5% from the field and 72.2% from the free throw line. Tavares is an interesting prospect because he has only been playing basketball for 4 years. He has the potential to be a dominant center in this league.
The Hawks traded to get the 48th pick in the draft from the Bucks, which they used to select Lamar Patterson from the University of Pittsburgh. Patterson is 6’5″ and averaged 17.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game. Ferry likes Patterson’s ability to spread the floor and said he has a high basketball I.Q. He, like Payne, will fit into Coach Bud’s system.
On Sunday June 29, the Hawks traded Lou Williams and 2013 first round pick, Lucas Noguiera to the Toronto Raptors for veteran guard John Salmons. By trading away Williams and Noguiera, the Hawks will have more money to spend on free agents come July 1, when teams can begin negotiations with free agents. The Hawks are expected to waive John Salmons and end up with an extra 4.5 million in cap space.
The Hawks will have 15.5 million to spend this summer on free agents. A player who is rumored to come down to the ATL is Luol Deng. Trevor Ariza has also been rumored to be on the Hawks list of free agents. According to ESPN, the Hawks are one of a few teams looking to pair up LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. In order to do this, the Hawks would have to completely gut their roster, which they are unlikely to do. Adreian Payne and Lamar Patterson will both be playing in the summer league. Non-roster invites are Eric Dawson, who played last year for the Hawks summer league team, UCLA forward, Travis Wear, Alabama point guard, Trevor Releford, Michael Bramos, who most recently played for Greece, Florida’s Casey Prather, and Saint Mary’s Stephen Holt. John Jenkins, Dennis Shroeder, and Mike Muscala will also be playing.
With the amount of money the Hawks have and the high quality players (led by names such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony) hitting the free agent market, this summer is sure to be interesting for the Hawks.