NBA mock draft round-up: Hawks targeting size

Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) celebrates his bucket as UConn takes on Illinois in the NCAA Men’s East Regional basketball playoffs at TD Garden on Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Boston. (Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) celebrates his bucket as UConn takes on Illinois in the NCAA Men’s East Regional basketball playoffs at TD Garden on Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Boston. (Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald/TNS)

Two weeks remain until the NBA draft, and the Hawks, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, reportedly had workouts with French forward Zaccharie Risacher and Connecticut center Donovan Clingan. Both players could address some of the Hawks’ needs by adding size and depth to their frontcourt.

Of course, Alexandre Sarr could address those needs, as well, and he remains among the players mocked to the Hawks.

With just a fortnight remaining before the Hawks need to make a decision, Risacher has emerged as a favorite to go first overall. Though the picture hasn’t become totally clear on who the Hawks will take June 26, what has become clear is the type of player they’re targeting.

Yahoo Sports: Risacher (F | France | 6-8, 195 lbs. | 19 years | 11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 48.7% FG, 42.4% 3PT, 71.6% FT)

Jeff Zillgitt and Scooby Axon project the Hawks use the first overall pick on the versatile wing who has the skills that many teams are looking to capitalize on in today’s game.

ESPN: Clingan (C | Connecticut | 7-2, 265 lbs. | 20 years | 13 ppg, 7.4 RPG, 1.5 apg 63.9% FG, 25% 3PT, 58.3% FT)/ Risacher

In ESPN’s latest mock draft Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo debate the best player versus the best value at the position a team could get.

Givony makes the case that the best player available for the Hawks would UConn’s Donovan Clingan because he would immediately add rim protection. But offensive side of the ball, Clingan could potentially be a string pick-and-roll partner with Hawks guard Trae Young.

Woo, however, wrote that Risacher would provide the best value for the Hawks at No. 1 because he has a strong developmental floor. The 19-year-old also has the tools and skills to be a solid starting wing in the NBA.

Fox Sports: Risacher

Jason McIntyre likens the 19-year-old’s frame to that of Suns forward Kevin Durant “and it could be a few years before he pops — like Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.”

CBS Sports: Sarr (C | France | 7-3, 217 lbs. | 19 years | 9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 52% FG, 29.8% 3PT, 71.4% FT)

In his latest mock draft, Cameron Salerno ranks Sarr as one of the best two-way talents in the draft and that the Hawks could get a solid foundational player, should they opt to rebuild.