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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Atlanta Hawks Linked With Fab Melo

After injuries to Al Horford, who is really a power forward, and Zaza Pachulia, the Atlanta Hawks desperately needed size on the interior in their first-round loss to the Boston Celtics.

As a result, they were forced to roll out Jason Collins, one of the least talented and athletic big men in the NBA time, for large stretches of action against Kevin Garnett.

With their first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, they could be in position to shore up their interior defense, as CBS Sports Jeff Goodman has them taking Syracuse C Fab Melo with the No. 23 selection in his latest mock draft:

23. Atlanta Hawks
Fab Melo, C, Syracuse: The Hawks could use a big man and Melo really made strides this past season. Will never be an offensive threat, but Atlanta needs a rebounder and interior presence.

Melo, an athletic 7'0 250 shot-blocker from Brazil, averaged 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks on 56% shooting in 25 minutes for Syracuse last season.

He is an extremely raw player, especially on the offensive end, but he has a rare combination of size and athleticism and he could be a decent gamble for a Hawks team desperate for size at the end of the first round.

For more on the NBA Draft, check out SB Nation's NBA page. Atlanta Hawks news and info can be found at Peachtree Hoops.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.