3 teams currently regretting not drafting Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks like the steal of the draft. What teams wish they would have taken him before he fell to the Miami Heat?

Jan 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) moves the ball
Jan 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) moves the ball / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Atlanta Hawks

Kobe Bufkin
New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks / Paras Griffin/GettyImages

The Hawks took Kobe Bufkin with the 15th pick. At 20 years old, Bufkin is a toolsy player who rose boards during the lead-up to the draft. At Michigan, he handled the ball in the pick-and-roll and made himself useful off the ball with cuts.

But unlike Jaquez, Bufkin still needs to grow into an NBA frame. Even at draft time, he didn’t figure to be part of Atlanta’s rotation. He’s played in just two games this season. This might be more of a reflection on Atlanta’s shortcomings than Bufkin’s, who is more of a developmental pick.

The Hawks are out of the playoff picture and could be headed for a firesale before next month’s trade deadline. They thought they would be better, and getting more from wings like De’Andre Hunter, Dejounte Murray and AJ Griffin.

Because those players have disappointed, there’s a spot in Atlanta’s rotation for an instant-impact player like Jaquez.