Re: #3 Al Horford
My assessment is that the draft was not a huge step towards a championship for the Hawks. #3 was a nice, safe pick if you have major concerns with Conley's size and his jumpshot. But the people that say Horford is the next Boozer or Stoudemire is a little ludicrous to me. I think he'll end up being a better version of Drew Gooden. Stronger, better defender, more rounded game. He's a class act as well and you won't have any character problems. I think he's a nice 15-10-2 guy for the Hawks, and would be an instrumental part in the process of getting a ring, but they still have a hole at center and point guard. Horford can play center, but I think he'd be better suited at PF. I would have rather taken Conley at #3, and then tried to make a move to land Spencer Hawes, who would give good size (maybe not bulk) to Atlanta, and his good passing along with Conley and Johnson's, and Marvin William's unselfishness, would really help the offense flow. More importantly, Atlanta would have quality at every position in the starting five. I didn't like the pick of Acie Law IV at #11. I think they could've done better with Al Thornton, Julian Wright, or Javaris Crittenton instead. Law is a scorer, and Atlanta has that. Crittenton could possibly start at PG, or be a backup two guard off the bench and get 10-12 points and 4-5 assists. Julian Wright is a high character kid like Marvin Williams that brings defense, point-forward ability, and athleticism off the bench. Thornton is a tough kid that could be the next Shawn Marion, but I emphasize that lightly. I think he'll be a 14-15 point guy in the league that does everything for a team. But instead, they get Acie Law. They already have enough guys that can score with the basketball. Heck, out of all the scoring point guards available, I would've reached and taken Rodney Stuckey ahead of him, because he can at least be a two guard off the bench if I need him to be. Law is a Sam Cassell or Jason Terry type who'll get you alot of points, which is a good thing for a team that relies on their post players to score and needs someone else to step up, or on a team with no good scorers that is in rebuilding mode. But Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Joe Johnson can all create shots for themselves. They need someone that can facilitate the offense, not someone to screw it up. Law could possibly play the two guard, but he'd be giving up alot on defense. Now the Hawks have:
PG Acie Law IV/Tyronn Lue/Speedy Claxton/Anthony Johnson/Salim Stoudamire
SG Joe Johnson/Josh Childress/Salim Stoudamire?
SF Marvin Williams/Josh Smith/Solomon Jones?
PF Josh Smith/Al Horford/Shelden Williams/Solomon Jones
C Zaza Pachulia/Al Horford/Lorenzen Wright/Shelden Williams
I think that's what it's supposed to be. As you can see, there's a logjam at PG and Shelden Williams gets no playing time. Here's what the Hawks could've had:
PG Mike Conley/Tyronn Lue/Speedy Claxton/Anthony Johnson/Salim Stoudamire
SG Joe Johnson/Josh Childress/Salim Stoudamire
SF Marvin Williams/Josh Smith/Solomon Jones
PF Josh Smith/Shelden Williams/Solomon Jones
C Spencer Hawes/Zaza Pachulia/Lorenzen Wright/Shelden Williams
Obviously, one of the players above wouldn't be on the depth chart because of trading up for Hawes, but you get the picture. The Hawks made a bad move and now they'll have to pay for it. Plus, no first rounder next year so that's another year wasted trying to find an elite PG.