200208_JCA_BasketballvsAlabama_1794.jpg

Georgia's Rayshaun Hammonds jumps to make a shot during against Alabama on Feb. 8, 2020. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 105-102 in overtime. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Georgia junior Rayshaun Hammonds is on the outside looking in ahead of the 2020 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9 forward posted 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 28 minutes per game this season for Georgia, but unlike freshman teammate Anthony Edwards, Hammonds is absent from ESPN's top-100 prospect list and Sports Illustrated's top-80CBS Sports showed Hammonds some love as the 91st best draft hopeful.

Hammonds reiterated his draft commitment via Twitter on May 2, a month before the original 2020 draft withdrawal deadline. The newly agreed upon deadline is Oct. 6, 10 days before the Oct. 16 draft.

If undrafted, the forward will enter free agency and won't have the option of returning to Stegeman Coliseum.

While Edwards will likely be plucked off the board early regardless of team need, NBA clubs will go for Hammonds to fill a roster gap.

Here are three teams who might scoop up Georgia's premier big man in the fall:

New York Knicks

Yes, the Knicks have Julius Randle, a 6-foot-8 power forward and the team's leading scorer this year. However, with forward Marcus Morris' departure, a spot is open for a mobile, shooting-inclined big man on the roster.

Hammond's ability to spot up from behind the arc — he shot 35% in 2019-2020 — would be a boost over both Randle and 6-foot-7 small forward Kevin Knox.

With three second or third-year forwards on the roster for next season, Hammonds would have to rely on his offense to catch some minutes.

Atlanta Hawks

In Atlanta, Hammonds could make a solid sixth man, as the Hawks have the young and reliable 6-foot-9 power forward John Collins. While Collins had the potential to become more of a center, the addition of 6-foot-10 Clint Capela will likely keep him where he is.

In small-ball scenarios, Hammonds would come in handy. The Hawks could field two big shooters to stretch defenses while retaining Collins and Hammond's rebounding abilities.

Atlanta would also keep the option of running Hammonds as a purely second-team guy to add some offense alongside lackluster 6-foot-10 center Damian Jones.

Indiana Pacers

Wielding three 6-foot-11 centers but two-men deep at power forward, the Pacers could use a strong No. 4 to accompany sixth-year small forward T.J. Warren next year.

This season, Indiana relied on its 2015 first-round pick Myles Turner for versatility down low. The 6-foot-11 fourth-year notched a .336 three-point percentage on an average of 4.2 deep shots per game. His 11.8 points per contest were nearly seven shy of fellow center Domantas Sabonis' 18.5.

Like with the Hawks, the addition of Hammonds would allow the Pacers to employ a versatile power forward at all times. 

With 60 draft spots available, Hammonds faces a steeper path than his freshman teammate in making an NBA starting five. Likely, he'll take on a supporting role as a young professional, but until the Oct. 16 draft and the onset of free agency two days later, his future is up in the air.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.