John Collins Picked No. 19 Overall by Hawks After Atlanta Trades Dwight Howard

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

Feb 11, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward John Collins (20) dunks the ball during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks have taken Wake Forest forward John Collins with the No. 19 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Welcome to Atlanta, @jcollins20_! (Driven by @KumhoTireUSA) https://t.co/fMao7nkOTY

Here's how social media reacted to the Hawks' addition of Collins on Thursday night:

Reid Forgrave @ReidForgrave

No. 19, Atlanta, John Collins. 1 of most efficient scorers in college, & 1 of most improved players. Needs to add a J. A steal. Grade: A-

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

Wake Forest's John Collins wearing Christian Louboutin hi-tops to tonight's draft ($1,295) https://t.co/sBFj7sHwXf

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

Hawks take Wake Forest PF John Collins with the No. 19 pick https://t.co/WGZA6dTaST

Wake Basketball @WakeMBB

The pick is in... With the 19th pick of the #NBAdraft2017, the @ATLHawks select John Collins! #GoDeacs https://t.co/8NfW0yVzq0

The All-ACC player was one of the most improved players in the entire country during the 2016-17 college basketball season. After averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a freshman, he exploded his sophomore year with 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Per Sports Reference, he led the nation with a 35.9 player efficiency rating.

At 6'10" with quality athleticism, Collins showed an impressive offensive skill set that allowed him to score in a variety of ways in the paint. He showcased his finishing ability with 74.7 percent shooting at the rim, while his 44.8 percent on two-point jump shots is also impressive for his size, per Hoop-Math.

Although he hasn't extended his shot out to the three-point line, his ability as a scorer should not be an issue.

"I've been working on my skill set away from the basket," he said after a workout with the Charlotte Hornets, per C Jackson Cowart of the Charlotte Observer. "So I think, in time, I'll be able to develop that new NBA feel [and] put that in my game."

Question marks remain about Collins' ability defensively, however. Although he averaged 1.6 blocks per game this past season, his positioning and consistency on that end of the court needs serious work for him to be a top contributor in the NBA.

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Considering he is still just 19 years old, there is plenty of time for him to round out his game.

The Hawks already made one big move this offseason, trading Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday as part of a package that sent Marco Belinelli and Miles Plumlee to the Hornets.

Collins will now provide some help down low for a team that ranked just 22nd in the league in points per game last season.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Hawks going forward, but as the squad continues to get younger, Collins figures to be a valuable addition to the rotation as soon as next season.

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