Jump to content
Hawksquawk.net

Hawksquawk

Moderators
  • Content Count

    146,034
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    3

Hawksquawk last won the day on February 8 2012

Hawksquawk had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

84 Excellent

3 Followers

About Hawksquawk

  • Rank
    Squawkbot Automated Account

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. While the New Orleans Pelicans' future draft picks are currently sucking up all the intrigue, a former lottery pick on their roster is reportedly ready to make noise as a free agent. View the full article
  2. We knew that the postseason would affect free agency. But the idea was that the success or failure of certain teams would affect what their free agents' thoughts about staying or leaving. View the full article
  3. After a high school career in Canada that netted him zero U.S. college scholarship offers, Mfiondu Kabengele headed in the summer of 2015 to Don Bosco Institute -- a prep school in Indiana with a reputation for helping connect players and colleges -- hoping to increase his exposure and his opportunities. View the full article
  4. Before the 2019 NBA Draft arrives, Peachtree Hoops will break down more than 75 available prospects with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks may look to do in late June. This report centers on Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver. Jarrett Culver wasn’t supposed to be a top-five pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. In fact, the 20-year-old from Lubbock, Texas wasn’t supposed to be a top-five pick in any NBA Draft. Culver arrived at Texas Tech as a member of the 2017 recruiting class and, before he arrived, he was ranked as the No. 312 recruit in the country. Beyond that, Culver was listed at 6’4 and 170 pounds, classifying as a “combo guard” and projecting as potentially a solid, uninspiring role player on a middling Big 12 team. Two years later, Culver is an unquestioned top-10 pick and, for many, he ranks as a top-five player in the 2019 draft class. With that as the backdrop, it has been a wild climb for Culver and that coincides with the development of his physical traits. There were full-fledged investigations of his rumored height growth during his sophomore season and, by the time the NBA Draft Combine arrived, Culver measured at 6’6.75 with a 6’9.5 wingspan. That was a pleasant surprise, at least when compared to his listed college measurements, and Culver brings legitimate size as a versatile wing at the NBA level. From a production standpoint, he was the sun, moon and stars for Texas Tech this season, serving as a key cog in the nation’s best defense and the unquestioned centerpiece of the program’s offensive strategy. Culver averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists despite Texas Tech’s slow pace and, from a more advanced standpoint, he posted a 25.1 PER with an intriguing assist rate (26.1 percent) and a noteworthy 32.2 percent usage. In some respects, the Red Raiders did not provide the best evaluation environment for Culver, simply because he will never have 32.2 percent usage (or anything close) at the NBA level. There simply wasn’t much in the way of high-end talent around him at the college level and, in translating that to the NBA, it is wise to keep that reality in mind. Offensively, there is a lot to like with Culver, even if the package isn’t perfect by any means. He flashed high-end passing acumen at Texas Tech, functioning as a quality pick-and-roll operator even in less than optimal circumstances. He has a strong legs that allow him to maneuver well on the floor and, while Culver is not a great athlete by NBA standards, he is a solid, functional one. Culver does not profile as a primary initiator in the NBA but, as a secondary ball-handler, his pick-and-roll acumen and vision are intriguing. He can create, both for himself and others, and Culver displayed craft around the rim to pair with his physicality. The big question, both on the offensive end and overall, with Culver’s game is his jump shot. As a freshman in a reduced role, he converted 38.2 percent of his three-point attempts. As a sophomore star, that number dipped to a concerning 30.4 percent and the struggles included a downturn in conference play. His mechanics have improved during his college career but, at the moment, Culver is not consistent with his shooting form, which creates myriad issues. By all accounts, Culver is a gym rat that brings no character concerns and, if anything, he is seen as an elite worker. That could lead to development in his jump shot but, more skeptically, he must refine his release point as a shooter and it would be (very) aggressive to project Culver as anything more than a solid eventual shooter, instead of anything approaching an elite one. In short, Culver will need to be respectable behind the three-point arc to allow the rest of his offensive game to unlock and, if scouts believe that will not happen, he must be docked as such. Because he isn’t an elite athlete and doesn’t bring a ton of traditional “wiggle” as a ball-handler, Culver is certainly a secondary offensive option and, in a draft with more star power, he would likely profile as a mid-to-late lottery pick, rather than a top-five player. Still, that is not the reality of a class with very few elite options (arguably only one) and Culver’s package of two-way ability is wildly intriguing as a result. Defensively, he doesn’t bring the same raw size and strength of Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter but his ability on that end of the floor is a real strength. Culver is physical, works hard and knows how to execute a scheme. It would be bold to project him as a full-blown “stopper” in the NBA, but that isn’t out of the question and he was notably better as a freshman when he was asked to do less on the other end. That could be an analog for his NBA role and, if his defensive ceiling unlocks, that provides more leeway on the offensive end. He can be disruptive when he wants to be, contests well at all levels, and generally cares defensively, all of which are strong traits with regard to his professional floor. Through the lens of the Atlanta Hawks, Culver is quite interesting. Rumblings exist that the Hawks could be eyeing Culver in a trade-up scenario and, if Travis Schlenk and company view him as a significant step up from the available talent pool at No. 8 overall, that investment could make sense. With Trae Young as the primary offensive engine in Atlanta, Culver could slide into a secondary role that would highlight his traits on both ends, and he is quality fit alongside both Young and Kevin Huerter. It should be noted that Culver doesn’t bring the same size and length of players like Hunter, Duke’s Cameron Reddish or North Carolina’s Nassir Little, which could lead the Hawks in a different direction if that profile is what they are seeking. In Culver, NBA teams would be acquiring a “pure” wing, rather than a hybrid forward with the ability to flash to the 4, and he is the most established ball-handler and creator among the wings/forwards in his projected tier. All told, Culver would be an interesting fit in Atlanta, with the infrastructure to allow his weaknesses (i.e. shooting) to improve and his strengths (i.e. defense, play-making) to really shine. The Hawks may not execute a trade to jump into the top five and, if they don’t, Culver isn’t likely to be available when the team makes its first selection at No. 8 overall. Still, it isn’t difficult to see why Atlanta might want to add a player with his skill set and there will be plenty of attention paid to this potential marriage before June 20. Stay tuned. View the full article
  5. Here are seven takeaways on the reported blockbuster trade sending New Orleans star forward Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package of three players, three first-round Draft selections and two first-round swaps of Draft picks: View the full article
  6. LeBron James' streak of teaming up with superstar talent will reportedly continue in Los Angeles. This time, that talent is joining him, as the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and a war chest of draft picks. View the full article
  7. A few years back, Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett was watching a player at a camp in Pennsylvania when his attention got diverted. View the full article
  8. Here are seven takeaways on the reported (but not official until July 1) blockbuster trade sending New Orleans star forward Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package of three players, three first-round Draft selections and two first-round swaps of Draft picks: View the full article
  9. The Pelicans will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers after all. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report that New Orleans will send the 26-year-old superstar to Los Angeles in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. View the full article
  10. The Pelicans will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers after all. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report that New Orleans will send the 26-year-old superstar to Los Angeles in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the fourth overall pick in next week's Draft. View the full article
  11. The Pelicans will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers after all. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that New Orleans will send the 26-year-old superstar to Los Angeles in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the fourth overall pick in next week's Draft. View the full article
  12. The Pelicans will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers after all. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that New Orleans will send the 26-year-old superstar to Los Angeles in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. View the full article
  13. Before the 2019 NBA Draft arrives, Peachtree Hoops will break down more than 75 available prospects with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks may look to do in late June. This edition examines Duke forward Cam Reddish. When the Hawks ended up not moving up on the night of the NBA draft lottery, it shaped the view of their approach to the draft. They’re now potentially positioned them to either draft a high-upside player that was unable to play his way into the top tier of the draft class or take an older, more established player with a higher floor. Another option, with the No. 8 or No. 10 picks in the lottery, is that they could aim to pursue one of each. Whichever approach they take, Duke’s Cam Reddish very well could get strong consideration from the organization. Reddish was considered arguably one of the single best prospects in his high school class. He would eventually join Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett at Duke to form a freshman super team looking to make the most of their collective one-and-done collegiate seasons. While Williamson and Barrett respectively improved and maintained their perceived status among the would be 2019 NBA draft class, Reddish slipped. From a statistical perspective, NBA teams should broadly be out on Reddish as prospect. He shot just 35.6% from the field (and a brutal 39.4% on two-point attempts) despite connecting on reasonable number (33%) of his three-point attempts. Considering his frame (6’9, 205 pounds, 7’3 wingspan), Reddish struggled mightily to finish at the rim. Despite him often being significantly bigger than defenders that would meet him at the rim, the West Chester, Pennsylvania product would shy away from contact. He had always been a hot and cold player throughout his play in prominent environments and never quite looked like a player whose confidence rose with the occasion to put his mark on a game. As such, there are many reasons to be skeptical that very much of his game will translate into success at the NBA level. Since garnering the attention of national evaluators, he consistently played with immense expectations to perform as the best offensive player on any given stage. It seems he never really settled into being comfortable with those expectations. When considering that, the result of his underwhelming year at Duke could have a silver lining in the form of those expectations not necessarily following him to his entrance into the NBA. Reddish looks like an incredibly and uniquely gifted scorer when his shots are falling. His ability to use a slick dribble package to create his own shot elicits comparisons to the best isolation scorers in the league. When it’s working, he can operate in the midrange and from well beyond the three-point line. However, across any significant sample size, it’s clear that he is not the most consistently confident shooter. Having graded very well, statistically, in the pick-and-roll as a shooter and a passer and having met expectations in his numbers shooting off the dribble one wonders if there is reason for optimism. As he moves from having had very little space at Duke to ideally having significantly more space in an NBA context, Reddish could look immensely more comfortable in a professional setting. If he could land with a team that already has an established primary creator, he could potentially thrive as a secondary creator with his unique skill set absent the expectation to be the best player on his team. That’s where the Hawks could be a factor. Trae Young in unquestionably Atlanta’s primary offensive creator and he has embraced the role of generating quality shots for himself and his teammates. Only Russell Westbrook had more assists than did Young last season. Should Atlanta have interest, Reddish could be a player they decide to slide into a potentially valuable part of a young, exciting core group of players with no real expectation that he bears the responsibility to create shots for others. He has the physical profile and has flashed enough defensive upside such that he could slide into manning the small forward position, replacing Taurean Prince, as the third-year player is on his way to Brooklyn by way of a trade that will be made official in July. Just like his confidence as a shooter, his engagement and intensity on the defensive end of the court comes and goes. Should Travis Schlenk be convinced that the key to unlocking the potential of Reddish is by simply right-sizing his role, the Hawks could be a fascinating fit. Reddish reportedly played some, if not most, of the NCAA season with a core muscle injury. He recently had surgery to address the injury, the recovery of which will keep him off of the court for NBA Summer League, if not a bit beyond that. It also impacted his ability to perform in individual workouts for NBA teams. When one looks back at how much he struggled to finish at the rim last year, especially his inability or unwillingness to extend himself (with that ridiculous wingspan) and his hesitancy to expose his body to opposing defenders, one wonders how much the injury was a factor in that part of his game. NBA teams have probably been working as hard to gather and vet intel on Reddish as any player in the 2019 NBA draft class. Given his exposure in highly visible environments such as the Nike EYBL, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoop Summit, there should be no shortage of sources available to provide the information regarding Reddish’s mental approach to the game and work ethic. Should the Hawks be satisfied with what they have learned about the 19-year-old wing prospect it would not be surprising to see them use one of their two top-ten draft picks to acquire Reddish and settle him onto a talented young roster absent the expectations a team such as the Chicago or New York will have for him. In the aftermath of the reported Prince deal, which landed the Hawks the No. 17 selection in next week’s draft, rumors are circulating that Atlanta is looking to consolidate picks and move up as to pursue a player projected to be unavailable when it’s their turn to pick. Could that be a smoke screen intended to position the organization to secure Reddish with either the No. 8 or No. 10 pick in the lottery? We will not have to wait much longer to find out. View the full article
  14. We're on the other side of the NBA Finals, which means it's time to get ready for Thursday, June 20 as the 2019 NBA Draft quickly approaches. Eight of the 10 mock drafts have updated since our last look after the Lottery, which provides us with a little more clarity. View the full article
  15. Steve Kerr still considers Golden State an ideal fit for Kevin Durant. View the full article
×
×
  • Create New...