Atlanta Hawks: 2019 NBA Draft grades

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Photo by Mark Westcott/NBAE via Getty Images /
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No. 34 pick: Bruno Fernando

After managing to use their early second round pick (No. 35) to help nab the rights to De’Andre Hunter, the Atlanta Hawks managed to trade back up into the early second round to select Bruno Fernando, a 6’10” center from Maryland.

The Hawks traded the rights to pick No. 57 from the Pelicans trade along with two future second round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to pick No. 34. So the 76ers officially made this pick, as pick No. 57 belongs to the Pelicans until the famous Anthony Davis trade is finally official on July 6.

The Hawks have to be happy they moved back up in the second round though, as they landed a very capable rim protector that can either play next to John Collins or be an extremely capable backup to him. In fact, the Hawks have had their eye on him since draft prep for last season, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore:

"“[Bruno Fernando] was the subject of a scouting trip by Schlenk last season when he identified [Kevin] Huerter. Fernando returned to school. He entered the draft again this year and had a pre-draft workout with the Hawks. The visit was extended with a lengthy video session with head coach Lloyd Pierce.”"

Fernando becomes the third Maryland product to join the Hawks (Huerter and Alex Len being the other two). He put up 22 double-doubles last year in 34 games for the Terrapins, averaging 13.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Fernando will provide a good defensive presence for the Hawks, as he also blocked 64 shots last season.

The Maryland prospect will likely be a project for Atlanta, but the opportunity for him to earn a role will be there. He may not have the hype that surrounds Bol Bol (who was still available at this pick), but he could become an integral part of the Hawks’ frontcourt rotation.

Grade: C+