2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks go defense, Pistons surprise at 5

2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama
2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama / Christian Liewig - Corbis/GettyImages
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15. Atlanta Hawks choose Kobe Bufkin

Bufkin has been vaulting up draft boards after a strong finish to his sophomore season at the University of Michigan. The 6’4 guard averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.0 minutes per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 35.5 percent on his 3-point tries. Could Bufkin be a top-ten pick on June 22?

Do not rule it out. The 19-year-old showcased a well-rounded game this season. He scored from all three levels, shot well from long range, and displayed increased playmaking ability as the year went on. Bufkin competes hard on defense and puts up strong numbers, despite being listed at just 175 pounds.

The Hawks are another team looking to shake up their roster this summer. They already have Trae Young and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt, but do they view that tandem as a long-term fit? If not, they could target a young guard in the draft that can grow under their two stars.

Kobe Bufkin will need time to develop, but he could be an exciting offensive player that holds his own defensively. He may never be a star, but the 6’4 guard could be a starter and third or four option in the NBA in the right system.