The Los Angeles Clippers won the NBA lottery Tuesday and wasted no time announcing they plan to take Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin with the top overall pick in the June draft. It won't be as easy for teams such as the Hawks to decide which player best fits their needs. They own the 19th selection and still have to rummage through the data on scores of players who could conceivably be in play when they pick.
There will be no shortage of experts suggesting what the Hawks should do. Already the mock drafts have them taking everyone from Wake Forest point guard Jeff Teague to Ohio State center B.J. Mullens.
Funny thing is, before the Hawks are on the clock on draft night, their options are likely to change every 10 minutes.
In the meantime, here are the five names most commonly associated with the 19th pick:
Jeff Teague, point guard, Wake Forest
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
2008-09 stats: 18.8 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds
NBA comparison: Monta Ellis
Why he makes sense for the Hawks : A scoring point guard is the kind of point guard who works best in Mike Woodson's offense. Teague has big-game experience after two years in the ACC but is also young enough (20) that he has loads of potential. While he's more of a scorer than a facilitator right now, the right tutelage early in his career could help mold his overall game.
Why he doesn't: The Hawks went the young point guard route two years ago with Acie Law IV, who had better credentials coming out of college than Teague.
Terrence Williams, small forward, Louisville
Measurables: 6-6, 215
2008-09 stats: 2.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists
NBA comparison: Corey Maggette
Why he makes sense for the Hawks : If the point guards the Hawks prefer are gone by the time they pick, they would be foolish to pass up the best available talent. And Williams is easily one of the most talented all-around players in this draft. He's more of a point forward than anything else. In addition, he has an athletic build and is a fantastic rebounder and passer with the ability to initiate the offense.
Why he doesn't: The Hawks need shooters in the worst way, and that's the one part of the game Williams hasn't mastered.
Eric Maynor, point guard, Virginia Commonwealth
Measurables: 6-3, 175
2008-09 stats: 22.4 points, 6.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds
NBA comparison: Sam Cassell
Why he makes sense for the Hawks : Maynor is everything the Hawks need in a potential starting point guard. He has the experience, the long-range shooting ability and the defensive presence to make an immediate impact. Whatever Maynor lacks in explosive athleticism, he makes up for with savvy and crunch-time courage. Maynor improved steadily throughout his college career and finished as one of the most prolific scorers in the nation.
Why he doesn't: Maynor isn't a distinguished defender and struggles finishing in traffic, two things the Hawks will need out of their next point guard.
Ty Lawson, point guard, North Carolina
Measurables: 5-11, 195
2008-09 stats: 16.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds
NBA comparison: Raymond Felton
Why he makes sense for the Hawks : Lawson is a classic point guard and arguably the fastest player, from one end of the floor to the other, in this draft class. He's got the strength, ball-handling skills, toughness and court vision every team wants in a point guard. And his shooting stroke from beyond the 3-point line has improved dramatically in the past two years. He's a menace in transition and a pest in the passing lanes for opposing teams.
Why he doesn't: There's a reason a player with Lawson's credentials --- he was the ACC Player of the Year ---would still be around when the Hawks pick. His lack of size is a major concern for most teams.
B.J. Mullens, center, Ohio State
Measurables: 7-0, 275
2008-09 stats: 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks
NBA comparison: Chris Kaman
Why he makes sense for the Hawks : Mullens is the only legitimate 7-footer with the chance to be a big-time starter in this draft other than Hasheem Thabeet, an expected top-three pick. Plenty of teams will be mesmerized by Mullens' combination of size, athleticism, hands and natural instincts. He has all the tools and potential any team could want in a center prospect.
Why he doesn't: The Hawks don't need help two or three years from now. They need big man help immediately, and Mullens proved in his one season in college that he wasn't ready for prime time.