Hawks enlist AJ Griffin of Duke, Tyrese Martin of Connecticut

Griffin is also not afraid to attack the defenses and has shown a solid reading of the game that allows him to continue to find a second option when his first becomes unavailable.

Although he is confident in the abilities he will bring to the Hawks, he understands that there is still room for improvement.

“I think my game fits perfectly,” Griffin said. “Just going to this next level, you know, being able to play with other versatile guys, I’m just ready. Whatever the coach wants me to play, I’m ready. I can not wait. And I feel like (I) have so much to improve and work on. Words cannot explain how ready I am to go to work.

That work ethic and readiness came as no surprise to Hawks CEO Landry Fields and the rest of the organization. The team identified Griffin early in the scouting process and have been keeping an eye on him for the past year. The Hawks also talked to the young winger during last month’s combine scouting and got an idea of ​​who he was.

“Well, we’ve covered it all year,” Fields said after the draft. “And he’s a guy we really appreciated, we didn’t really think he’d be there at 16. We had a chance to talk to him in Chicago too, we had a great interview, just the right things, values ​​and us. ‘ you’re looking for the character, the hard work, the work ethic he has.

“We are very excited about what it can bring, from its versatility to everything from a personality standpoint. We couldn’t be happier to have it. We are really happy “.

Defensively, Griffin can protect multiple positions and could give the Hawks a solid perimeter defender as the team tries to develop its defensive identity.

Like Griffin, the Hawks are not afraid of the areas in which it will have to develop. Atlanta will continue to monitor how Griffin progresses in their system and grows into her body.

“So we’ll see,” Fields said. “Right now, as far as we have it, he still has a little bit of development to do as most rookies do, and we’ll take him with us as always and then we’ll see in time.”

Fields and the rest of the Hawks front office want to see Griffin continue to improve his ability to attack the edge and continue to become a versatile scorer. The first-year Hawks CEO said Griffin showed flashes of it while he was at Duke and now he’d love to see him continue to tap into that.

“For him, I think what is underestimated is his ability to manage,” Griffin said. “The ability of him to put the ball on the ground and make games for himself. You haven’t seen him much at Duke, but throughout the pre-draft process, watching him on the pro day, going back and seeing some of the flashes of him when he was at Duke, he’s there.

“So if he can continue to develop it, it really opens up an arsenal of versatility for himself and what we can do with our team. When the defense comes in and uses that body and wingspan, the sky is the limit for that guy. “

A native of White Plains, New York, he comes to the Hawks from an NBA family. His father Adrian Griffin played 10 seasons in the NBA and is now assistant manager of the Toronto Raptors.

Connecticut’s Tyrese Martin (4) dribbled against Villanova during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Big East conference tournament on Friday, March 11, 2022 in New York. (Photo AP / Frank Franklin II)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Connecticut’s Tyrese Martin (4) dribbled against Villanova during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Big East conference tournament on Friday, March 11, 2022 in New York. (Photo AP / Frank Franklin II)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Not only have the Hawks taken Griffin, but they’ve also added another guard they hope to see morph into a consistent shooter. With the choice n. 51, the Hawks chose Connecticut’s Tyrese Martin after swapping pick no. 44 with the Warriors for $ 2 million.

The 23-year-old guard arrives in Atlanta after two years with the Huskies. He averaged 13.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in his senior season, which earned him a spot on the Big East All-Tournament Team.

The 6-6 guard is a solid shooter who has knocked down 43% of his 3 points and is a solid athlete with a solid engine that allows him to take advantage of off-ball chances.

“What an amazing story. … Another guy who from the standpoint of character value and what we want to build here, we couldn’t be more excited, “Fields said.” He and AJ are top notch in that respect. he brings defense, (he is) also versatile as a winger, he can shoot the ball. Hopefully we can continue to see that he will be consistent as we continue here. “

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