The forward won the national championship with Villanova in his only season of college basketball.

By Julia Poe
June 13, 2018

The Hawks selected Villanova forward Omari Spellman with the No. 30 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. It's the Hawks' third pick of the first round; they picked Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick but traded him to Dallas for Trae Young and a future first-rounder, then took Maryland's Kevin Huerter at No. 19.

The top recruit out of the state of Ohio in his draft class, Spellman entered the Wildcat program in 2016, choosing Villanova over Arizona. After redshirting his freshman year, the forward earned Big East Freshman of the Year accolades on his way to winning the national championship with the Wildcats. 

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Spellman averaged 10.9 points and 8 rebounds per game, but he came alive in the NCAA tournament on the team's run to the title. His breakout game came in the Sweet Sixteen, where he dropped 18 points and picked up eight rebounds and two blocks against West Virginia. He delivered 15 points and 13 rebounds in the Final Four, and added 8 points and 11 rebounds in the title game.

After the championship victory, Spellman joined three other Villanova stars—Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson and NCAA championship star Donte DiVincenzo—in declaring for the draft.

Jeremy Woo's grade: B+

This is a surprise pick for the Hawks, but there was some chatter Spellman might sneak into the first round and Atlanta ultimately got their guy here. He’s a perfectly reasonable talent and smart, ball-moving rebounder who fits nicely with the Hawks’ other picks in Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. It’s an intriguing choice and may prove extremely prudent down the road given his high IQ game and versatile skill set.

Here is his scouting report, per SI.com's Jake Fischer

Strengths

• Excellent shooter for a frontcourt player. Spellman drilled 43.3% of his 150 triples at Nova. Skilled offensive player.

• Spellman’s combine measurements will be critical, but a reported 7’2” wingspan helped him provide a rim protection presence in college. Hard-working rebounder who occupies space and boxes out.

• Has an overall feel, soft hands and ball skills that make him a good fit within a modern offense. Good passer. Should be used well in dribble-handoff and ball-screen situations at the next level.

Weaknesses

• Spellman will be 21 by the start of the season, very old for a player coming off his freshman year. He’s seen limited high-level minutes relative to others.

• Standing 6’9”, Spellman isn’t quite big enough to defend most centers, nor mobile enough to guard on the perimeter.

• Packs a lot of weight onto a smaller frame for a big man, will need to continue dropping weight to increase his foot speed defensively. Was very overweight in high school and needs to stay in shape.

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