NBA Mock Draft 2013: Predicting Picks 11-20

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No. 17 – Atlanta Hawks: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

Apr 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Louisville Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng cuts down the net after Louisville won the championship game in the 2013 NCAA mens Final Four against the Michigan Wolverines at the Georgia Dome. Louisville Cardinals won 82-76. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford has been playing out of position at center throughout his career. Although he plays efficient, with averages of close to 14 points and 10 rebounds, he may be more effective at power forward. The Hawks have been actively shopping their forward Josh Smith to create room for Horford to go back to his natural position.

Now with the possible departure of Smith due to free agency, the Hawks may opt to select Gorgui Dieng out of Louisville to pair with Horford. Dieng is standing at 6’11″ with a wingspan of 7’6″. He has the prototypical center body.

During his career at Louisville, Dieng established himself as a rim protector, averaging 2.5 blocks as a junior and 3.2 as a sophomore. His defensive abilities would complement Horford’s offensive game.