'He runs like a deer,' an exec said about Brazil's Lucas Nogueira. (Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Hawks traded with the Mavericks and selected Lucas Nogueira with the No. 16 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here's a look at Nogueira and how he fits with Atlanta:
Bio: Brazil | 20 years old | Center
2012-13 Stats: 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 12.9 minutes for Spain's Estudiantes (per NBA.com)
Vitals: 7-0, 220 pounds
Strengths: Scouts like his potential as a rebounder and shot blocker. A 7-footer who moves well and has a 7-6 wingspan will always catch the attention of talent evaluators seeking a defensive anchor.
Weaknesses: Noguiera's body of work is limited because of a shortage of minutes in Spain. His offensive game is far from polished and he could stand to strengthen his frame. The team that drafts Nogueira will have to take the long view and hope that he can develop offensively while leveraging his physical tools to become an impact defensive player.
What Scouts Say: "He runs like a deer. When he puts some weight on, he's got the potential to be a starting center."
This pick originally belonged to Boston, was sent to Dallas as part of another draft-day deal and subsequently dealt to Atlanta, who have likely made this pick with the intent to stash Nogueira overseas. That's ultimately for the best, as Nogueira is in no way ready to compete at an NBA level. His skill set is consistent with the project center archetype: Nogueira moves well, has shown nice aptitude as a shot blocker, grabs effort boards and could be a nice piece down the line. But he's not quite ready physically to compete with NBA bigs, has miles to go in terms of defensive technique and doesn't have much of an offensive game beyond straightforward catch-and-finish opportunities. The Hawks will allow Nogueira to develop on someone else's time and dime while preserving every bit of their cap space (assuming they eventually forfeit their cap hold on free agent forward Josh Smith
, among others) this summer.