Report: Hawks draft pick ‘very likely’ to play in Spain next season

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Walter Tavares doesn’t have much basketball polish.

Considering he’s played the sport just five years, that’s understandable. And considering he’s 7-foot-3, he’ll get plenty of time to develop.

Tavares, drafted No. 43 by the Hawks, probably won’t do that developing in the NBA next season, though.

Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Edy Tavares will “very likely” return to Spain for another ACB League season, according to a person familiar with situation.

I doubt the Hawks mind this arrangement. Shelvin Mack gave them 13 players under contract, and they have a qualifying offer out to Mike Scott. Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand are also still unsigned, leaving Atlanta pretty close to the regular-season roster limit without Tavares.

At this point, it’s possible Tavares never reaches the NBA. Keep in mind too, he never declared for the draft. At 22, he was automatically entered, so his exact determination to reach the league is unclear. Many foreign players prefer to play in overseas rather than come to America.

There’s also a chance he never polishes his game to an NBA level – and that’s fine. Atlanta got good value drafting him not because he’s a sure thing, but because his upside is so high.

Tavares playing another season in Spain in no way diminishes his immense potential.