2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs roll the dice, Hornets win Wembanyama sweepstakes
The Atlanta Hawks are likely another team that will be feeling a good amount of pressure to get their pick right assuming they actually keep it, and I think there are several potential options for the team here in this scenario. The team is in desperate need of a player that can pick up tough defensive assignments on the perimeter, play off-ball on offense as a cutter and/or spot-up shooter, and perhaps even handle the ball a bit in a secondary or tertiary role.
Finding a player that fulfills all of those needs without compromising on upside is a tough ask in the middle of the 1st round, but one player still on the board sticks out as having enough upside in all three areas: Sidy Cissoko. At 6’8” and roughly 220 pounds, he has good positional size and athleticism to defend multiple positions on the perimeter, has found some success playing in an off-ball role with the G-League Ignite despite playing more of a ball-dominant role in years past, and has some upside to spare as a spot-up shooter.
This wouldn’t be a flashy pick by any means, and I would expect some fans to be underwhelmed with the team taking Cissoko over a few higher-profile names, but considering that he was productive in a professional league as one of the younger names in his draft class, I’m convinced this would be an incredibly smart pick by the Hawks.