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Atlanta Hawks 2014 Draft Preview

Draft picks: 1st round (15th overall), 2nd round (43rd overall)

By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks barely snuck into the Eastern Conference playoffs this season, but did see quite a few positives in taking the top-ranked Indiana Pacers to seven games.

The best part of the Hawks' late rally was that it took place, as did much of the regular season, without former All-Star center Al Horford. He went down with a right pectoral tear in December and never returned.

Horford's presence next season will help secure the middle and low post. Paul Millsap made his first All-Star game during the 2013-14 campaign and Pero Antic can provide excellent depth.

It was also a banner season for point guard Jeff Teague. He played at a near All-Star level, then performed even better during the playoffs. Teague was unguardable against the Pacers, one of the best defensive teams in the association.

The Hawks are weakest at the two wing spots. Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll both have a niche, but they are far from well-rounded. Korver is an elite shooter and Carroll is a great defensive player and effort guy.

There will be plenty of swing players available when the Hawks pick at 15th.

Kentucky's James Young might be the best of the bunch. At 6 feet, 8 inches tall, Young can play either spot as he is also a good enough shooter to play the shooting guard, although he will need to improve his 3-point range.

P.J. Hairston of North Carolina, then the D-League, is another intriguing name. He's a shooter and physical presence. Duke's Rodney Hood also might make some sense.

In the second round, depth at the wing or another big man could come in handy.

Players under contract: C Al Horford; F Paul Millsap; G Jeff Teague; G Kyle Korver; G Lou Williams; F DeMarre Carroll; G Dennis Schroder; G John Jenkins; C Pero Antic; C Mike Muscala

Free agents: F/C Elton Brand; F/C Gustavo Ayon; G Shelvin Mack; F Mike Scott; F Cartier Martin

Recent Draft History:

2013: Denis Schroder (17), Shane Larkin (18), Raul Neto (47), James Ennis (50)

2012: John Jenkins (23), Mike Scott (43)

2011: Keith Benson (48)

2010: Damion James (24), Pape Sy (53)

2009: Jeff Teague (19), Sergiy Gladyr (49)

06/18 13:14:25 ET

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