By PAUL NEWBERRY
The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Looking to bolster its front court after dumping Dwight Howard and facing the possible loss of Paul Millsap, the Atlanta Hawks drafted Wake Forest power forward John Collins with the No. 19 pick in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-10 Collins was the Atlantic Coast Conference's most improved player as a sophomore, averaging 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
The Hawks were impressed with his rebounding and inside scoring ability, but Collins must improve his shooting range to really thrive in the NBA.
After making the pick Thursday night, new general manager Travis Schlenk said the Hawks had Collins ranked among the top 15 players. He was a no-brainer of a pick for a team that traded Howard to the Charlotte Hornets this week and could lose four-time All-Star Millsap in free agency.