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ATH NBA Mock Draft: Picks 19-21

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A trio of forwards headline our selections as we enter into the 20s.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Dakota State vs Ohio State Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

19. Atlanta Hawks (via Minnesota Timberwolves): De’Anthony Melton

Dylan Jackson - With Dennis Schroder seemingly on his way out of Atlanta, the Hawks will be in need of a point guard, and if they decide not to select Trae Young at three, De’Anthony Melton would be a very nice option later on. Melton brings intensity on defense and an all-around game unparalleled to any other guard in this class.

Melton didn’t play this NCAA season due to an FBI investigation into corruption charges. However, in his freshman season for the Trojans, Melton displayed everything you’d want from a guard. His one major weakness was his jump-shot. Even that has improved if you look at him shooting during the combine.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Keita Bates-Diop

Laieke Abebe - Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop is an intriguing prospect. His athleticism and length for his position is similar to the prototypical NBA small forward. Despite having his junior season with the Buckeyes taken away due to a lingering stress fracture in his left leg, he played very well in his senior season. Bates-Diop averaged 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.6 block per game on 48 percent shooting and 35.9 percent from three point range. He is capable of guarding 1-4 and scoring by attacking the basket and working in the mid-range game.

While his handle could use some work, the Timberwolves need players that can contribute to their rotation right away. Despite Tom Thibodeau using short bench rotations, Bates-Diop is a four-year college player which is rare in the current age of the NBA draft. However, he has the maturity and intelligence to help any team in need of depth. 3&D wings are big in today’s NBA and Keita Bates-Diop can develop into one under the right system. Playing with the talent that the Timberwolves have can help expand his game at the next level.

21. Utah Jazz: Dzanan Musa

Andrew Waters-The Utah Jazz have been searching for their go-to scorer ever since fan-favorite Gordon Hayward was acquired by the Boston Celtics via free agency last summer. They got that scorer in surprising rookie Donovan Mitchell last season, who put up a robust 20.5 points and 3.7 assists per contest. But, besides that, there has been little to no consistent scoring from guys not named Mitchell. That can all change with the drafting of Dzanan Musa.

Musa has been declared and recognized by most domestic and foreign scouts as the second-best overseas player heading into the 2018 NBA draft, behind the Slovenian phenom Luka Doncic. What makes Musa such an intriguing prospect is his career accolades. At 19 years old, he was awarded the Adriatic League Liga ABA Top Prospect and the Adriatic League Liga ABA Round 9 MVP this season. This play was off of men who have established basketball careers and are much older than him. Musa’s ability to effectively play positions two through four while also maintaining an elite shooting ability from all three areas of the halfcourt can help make his presence known in Utah early on. He can quickly become the second option that the team relies on next season.