The Hawks will continue the intriguing development of 7'3 center Walter Tavares after selecting him with the 43rd pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Tavares' story is one of the more unique ones of the night. In 2009 while working at a store in Cape Verde, the big man was discovered by a tourist, who referred Tavares back to employees at Gran Canaria in Spain, the ACB league team the center currently plays for. Tavares has developed quickly, considering that the first time he picked up a basketball was five years ago.
Playing in one of the most competitive leagues overseas, Tavares averaged 12.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per 40 minutes this past season. The 265-pound center can add weight to his frame, but could already be a difference-maker on the defensive end. He's not athletic, but he is mobile. An elite shot-blocker and rebounder, Tavares has natural instincts on the defensive end and is especially talented at recovering after pick-and-roll hedges.
Tavares, at this point, mostly scores his points on offensive boards or rolling to the rim. He lacks a post game and a jumper, but the rate of the 22-year-old's development in just five years of playing basketball is such that his offensive limitations weren't enough to scare away teams in the draft.
Tavares will likely be stashed in Europe while he develops his game and fills into his body. The Hawks have plenty of big bodies already in the league (or, like Lucas Nogueira, coming into the league). Tavares figures to be an intriguing part of the Hawks' future.