1. Kobe Bufkin
The Atlanta Hawks selected the talented Kobe Bufkin at the end of the lottery, with the 15th overall pick having played two seasons and 61 games of college basketball with the Michigan Wolverines.
Bufkin’s collegiate numbers — 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 48.2% shooting from the field, 35.5% shooting from deep — were impressive, but his form during Summer League suggests he may still have some work to do before becoming a rotation NBA player.
The Hawks gave the keys to the 19-year-old across five Summer League appearances, with Bufkin producing mixed results in his 27.1 minutes per game. He averaged decent numbers with 14 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists, yet shot the ball at a paltry 33.3% from the floor and 13.8% from three-point range.
Along with the wayward shooting, Bufkin averaged 4.6 turnovers during Summer League — the most of anyone to have played more than two games. It wasn’t quite the performance the 6’5″ guard was looking for, but he still helped Atlanta to a winning 3-2 record.
Beyond his Summer League statistics — which can often prove forgivable and inconsequential for many — it’s difficult to envisage Bufkin getting too much opportunity in a loaded Hawks backcourt.
Led by star point-guard Trae Young and with 2022 NBA All-Star Dejounte Murray by his side, the Hawks are trying to move from the Play-In Tournament to a bonafide playoff team. With a full offseason in which to work his magic, head coach Quin Snyder will be under pressure to make an immediate impact from next season.
Behind Young and Murray, Atlanta has talented scorer Bogdan Bogdanovic and have recently acquired veterans Wesley Matthews and Patty Mills. Just as importantly though, they already have a bright young guard in A.J. Griffin who they’ll look to provide opportunity too after an exciting rookie season.
The Hawks’ guard depth, along with their desire to rise up the Eastern Conference standings, means opportunities will probably be limited for Bufkin as he develops during his rookie campaign.