Today at Philips Arena, the Hawks held a private workout with one of their top targets in the 2010 draft, power forward Gani Lawal of Georgia Tech. The Hawks, who hold the 24th pick of the first round, are reportedly interested in either a big man or a shooter. Given this draft's lack of depth in these areas, the Hawks are reportedly not expecting much immediate help from whomever they draft, so a raw player such as Lawal would make some sense.
Lawal averaged 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks last season as a junior, helping Tech to make the NCAA tournament. Those numbers are actually slightly down from his sophomore season, in which he put up 15.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He is 6'9" tall and possesses excellent physical tools but is considered to be unpolished in the finer points of the game, such as passing out of double-teams and anticipating on defense.
Lawal should be no stranger to Atlanta-area hoops fans, as he attended Norcross High before spending three years playing under Paul Hewitt at Tech.
If Lawal is indeed drafted by the Hawks with the 24th pick, he will join his Georgia Tech teammate (and certain top-5 pick) Derrick Favors as a first-round NBA draft pick. How Hewitt replaces those two big men will go a long way toward determining if his Tech team can return to the Big Dance in 2011.