NOTE: This is a series of articles written by individual authors, both in and out of The Draft Class. These are all part of The Draft Class’ NBA Re-Draft, in which all of the current 30 NBA teams are represented and will undergo a simulation through NBA 2K20, with the goal to build the best team over the next five years. All teams have already been formed through the snake draft. These pieces will break down why each team’s representative drafted the way they did, as well as the approach the representative had heading into the draft.
GM: Chandler Harper (@ChanNBAthots)
As the GM of the Atlanta Hawks, I went into the draft with the 6th pick in odd rounds and the 25th pick in even rounds. Knowing I had an early pick to start, I wanted to get a franchise cornerstone. Kawhi Leonard fell into my lap at #5, though I had him ranked #2 on my big board. Kawhi’s elite two-way play, positional versatility, on and off ball abilities, as well as his ability to get into the mid-range and get an efficient shot whenever he wants makes him perfect to build a team around. From this point, I could basically go best available.
I used my next two picks to lock down my wing play. I added Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson. The two provide me plenty of secondary creation, along with plenty of space on the court. Richardson will also be providing backup point guard play. After grabbing those two, I still viewed myself in talent acquisition mode versus looking to fill a need, as floor general point guards and non-elite centers are some of the most replaceable player types to find.
Because of this, I took Maxi Kleber and Eric Gordon next. Kleber gives me a big who fits with how we’re playing and is solid on both ends. Gordon gives me my spark-plug scorer off the bench, but he is capable of stepping into a bigger role because of his tough defense.
I then took Jakob Poeltl and Austin Rivers. Rivers gives me my low usage point guard who can defend and shoot well enough, and Poeltl gives me my low usage big who can guard opposing team’s bigger centers. I finished the draft by taking J.J. Redick, Romeo Langford, and D.J. Wilson. Redick was too good to not take with my 8th pick, despite his age. I believe that he will contribute significantly towards my first few championship runs.
Langford and Wilson are young players who have showed promise, but are very raw. I needed some youth on my team, and I am a believer that both can be good NBA players. Both have also shown they can at least provide hustle and solid defense on a good team; the hope is they can become legit players over the next few years for the Atlanta Hawks.