By Knox Bardeen

The drive from Wake Forest University to Philips Arena takes about five hours and spans 319 miles, mostly down Interstate 85. That’s the path new Hawks forward John Collins will take after being picked 19th overall by Atlanta in the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday.

Collins, 19, measured just below 6-foot-10 at the combine and averaged 19.2 points per game last year as a sophomore with the Demon Deacons. He also pulled down 9.8 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per contest.

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The Hawks are getting a player who expanded his offensive prowess in two seasons at Wake Forest and became a good post-up scorer. He’ll need to develop his court vision and work on a jump shot once he arrives in Atlanta.

The pick of Collins at 19 is a pick for the future. He’s got some work to do improving his versatility on both ends of the court, but his athleticism and ability to provide scoring opportunities for himself near the basket should excite the Hawks. He’s a great finisher and flourishes in pick-and-roll situations.

Here’s some instant reaction from Twitter: