Hawks Introduce Newly Drafted Members

Credit: Atlanta Hawks

The 2023 NBA Draft has come and gone and the Atlanta Hawks have made the picks they hope will boost their championship prospects for the coming season.

For the number 15 pick, the Hawks selected Michigan Wolverines sophomore Kobe Bufkin, a shooting guard. He played 61 games in his two-year stint at Michigan. He averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.3 minutes (.463 FG%, .325 3FG%, .833 FT%). A prolific scorer, Bufkin tacked on 10 or more points in 24 of the 33 games he started in 2022-23, and in seven of those games he scored at least 20 points.

At a press conference after the Draft, Hawks general manager Landry Fields said he had no doubt that Bufkin was the right pick for the Hawks.

“There’s guys who love the game, and there’s guys who are in love with the game,” Fields said. “This is a guy who in love with the game.” Fields said that as a freshman at Michigan, Bufkin shadowed a teammate who he thought was the best defender on the team and watched film of his plays and this helped him become a better defender.

Fields added that Bufkin and the number 46th pick, Seth Lundy, would play “sooner rather than later,”  and will start in the Summer League.

The early reaction to the Hawks first pick of the night thus far has been positive.

Lundy, who is from Penn State, played in 122 games, averages .412% FGs, .368 3 pointers, and .814% FTs.  He’s a member of Penn States 1,000 career point club.

“He was here for our last workout and he’s a guy we monitored,” Fields said about Lundy. “He really caught our eye at the combine and has an elite skill in shooting. He plays with toughness and he came out here and it it up in front of us. That’s part of who he is. He’s been doing that for a long time at Penn State.”

In addition to Thursday night’s draft picks, the Hawks announced the have aquired draft rights to Mouhamed Gueye, the 39th pick from the Boston Celtics, in a in-principle deal to be finalized later. He played in 68 games in his two years at Washington State. He scored an average 10.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 assits in 26.9 minutes. The 6-11 forward scored 15 double-doubles during the 2022-23 season, more than any other Pac -12 player.

The Hawks are counting on the newest members of the team to improve their overall performance and boost their prospects for next season and beyond. The team still has to make decisions about the existing members of the Hawks and whether some will remain with the squad or not.