3.) Kobe Bufkin
The Atlanta Hawks chose Bufkin with the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft after he put together an impressive sophomore season at Michigan. Some people might question why anyone would think Cissoko will be better than Bufkin from day one, which is fair. The 6-foot-5 combo guard spent two years learning the ins and outs of the game from former NBA All-Star Juwan Howard in Ann Arbor, but he still needs to polish his fundamentals.
Aside from needing round out his repertoire, Bufkin will also be the third guard behind Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, two players getting paid handsomely to make an immense impact for Atlanta as the faces of their franchise. The Hawks will go as those two go, and Bufkin may not see the opportunity to earn regular rotation minutes under Quin Snyder.
Bufkin will have to play defense and be an efficient scorer to earn a role for a playoff contender, and the Hawks may not have the patience to let him find a rhythm while they fight for postseason seeding. Cissoko, on the other hand, should have several chances to get some big-league run and showcase his skills on the rebuilding Spurs. His passing and motor will also help him win over Coach Popovich.
Sidy Cissoko is more NBA-ready than most rookies, and he has fellow countryman Victor Wembanyama to take the spotlight off him in the 2-1-0. Even if he doesn't make an immediate impact, the Spurs have the infrastructure and personnel to allow him to develop at his own pace.