The Runner Sports

Draft Grades for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta had back to back picks in the first round going into this draft, and despite completing a trade shipping away the 18th overall pick, still had back to back picks at the end of the day by getting pick 16. Let’s look at who they got with those picks, and how they fit.


Pick 16: Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil, 20 Years Old.


Measurements: 7′, 220 pounds, 7’6 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 13.3 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, .3 APG, 1.1 BPG.

Nogueira was a fast riser in the weeks leading up to the draft. Scouts had only seen limited action, but they fell in love with his length and defensive instincts. He moves very well for a big man, and has outstanding athleticism. If he can put some weight on, he could truly turn into a legitimate starting center in three to four years. Notice the time frame, however, as Nogueira is definitely not able to be a contributor right away in the NBA. Given some more time in Europe to hone his game, and especially work on his offensive arsenal, the 7 footer will hopefully be able to come to Atlanta and be a key contributor. If the Hawks were looking to rebuild completely, this looks like a great pick, however the Hawks are hoping to be in the thick of the Dwight Howard race. It would have made more sense to go with a player that could come in and play immediately if Atlanta wants to show Dwight he can win in his hometown. Nogueira has potential, and can become a very good starting center one day, plus if he stays in Europe it gives Atlanta even MORE cap room this free agency, so I like the pick for those reasons, but the Hawks failed to make a move to make them competitive now, and that hurts the grade a little.

Grade: B


Pick 17: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany, 19 Years Old. 


Measurements: 6’2, 165 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 24.7 MPG, 11.6 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.4 RPG, .9 SPG, 42% shooting.

Mark my words, this guy will be a star for the Atlanta Hawks. I’ve loved Schroeder from day one, as I just love quick point guards. He’s also long, and a tenacious defender. His court vision opens things up for himself as well as his teammates, and he has the potential to become the next Rajon Rondo. There are some concerns with his decision making and maturity, as he appears to get frustrated on the court, and will force things on offense, disrupting the flow of the game and turning the ball over. Both of those things can be fixed over time, and he will have time to develop even further if the Hawks stash him in Europe for a few more years. Also, I am personally a big fan of Jeff Teague, but the drafting of Schroeder could be the beginning of the end for Teague in Atlanta. I would still expect the Hawks to sign him this summer, but as soon as that contract is up, Schroeder can come over and become the next dynamic point guard in Atlanta. Once again, this move does not help them win now, so they lose a little bit of the grade.

Grade: A-


Pick 44: Mike Muscala, PF, Bucknell, Senior.

Bucknell v Purdue

Measurements: 6’11, 230 pounds, 7’1 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.7 MPG, 18.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.4 BPG, 51% shooting.

Muscala may be the only one of the Hawks’ 2013 picks to actually play for Atlanta next season. He’s a polished player who was very successful during his time at Bucknell. His combination of a legitimate low post game and solid jump shot allow him to score often and efficiently. Of course he played against weaker competition, and he is hindered by his lack of athleticism, but the big man can still block shots and gobble up rebounds. It all depends on what Atlanta does during free agency, but if they had Muscala playing with the second unit, it would not be a bad thing, and you don’t normally expect that from the 44th pick. In my mind, Muscala was a borderline first round pick after putting on a show at the combine. He is one of the most skilled bigs of this draft class, and can contribute immediately for second round money; that is the definition of a steal.

Grade: A


Pick 47: Raul Neto, PG, Brazil, 21 Years Old.

(Neto was traded to the Utah Jazz for a future 2nd round pick.)

Grade: N/A


Overall this was a solid draft for the Atlanta Hawks. While it will not be a draft class that comes in and contributes immediately, it makes the future a little brighter in Atlanta. The Hawks will only truly be competitive in the East for the next couple years if they make big splashes this year, and maybe they see that they won’t really have a chance to beat out the likes of the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers in the East no matter what they do right now, so they decided they were best served by drafting players for the future.

Overall Grade: B+


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Author: Rob Wegley

Co-Owner of The Runner Sports, Senior Editor for The Runner Sports, Writer for The Runner Sports focused on the NFL and the NBA. Located in the Chicago area. Professional journalist since 2012.