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NBA mock draft: Examining Ivan Rabb’s potential suitors as a late first round pick

Where does He best fit in?

NCAA Basketball: Utah at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

While most analysts have Ivan Rabb going in the late teens and early 20’s of the first round of this years draft, the question remains: Where will Ivan Rabb end up in this year's bloated and extremely competitive draft class and who will benefit most from drafting him?

Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp currently has Rabb going 18th to the Indiana Pacers. Rabb could be a good fit for the Pacers as they look to find some help for Thaddeus Young off the bench. Rabb’s rebounding could add some consistency on the glass for Pacers bench. Not to mention Rabb’s bargain price could help keep costs down if the Pacers intend on having any shot at keeping Paul George around past 2018.

At the 22nd pick, Draft Express has Rabb going to the Toronto Raptors. Although Coach Dwane Casey’s style of play fluctuates, Rabb’s ability to rebound combined with the complete lack of depth at the Small Forward position make him an attractive option for the Raptors. Right now Toronto is tied at 20th in rebounding but 10th in offensive production and tied for 7th in defensive points allowed. The issue here is whether or not Rabb will be able to produce similar numbers offensively as DeMarre Carroll to justify his spot in the rotation.

The most intriguing fit, however, comes from ESPN’s Chad Ford who has Rabb going 18th as well but to the Atlanta Hawks. Rabb’s graduation from the Cuonzo Martin School of defense first, offense later, make him an attractive pick for Mike Budenholzer’s defensive minded team. Although Rabb’s FG percentage was down this year, he still averaged 14 points a game and could still contribute some offense. Again, Rabb could provide production at a value that would allow the Hawks to create much-needed cap space with Paul Milsap’s impending experiment with free agency via his player option, by not being obligated to re-signing Ersan Llyasova or Kris Humphries.

Note: In a later mock for Yahoo Sports, Draft Express also puts Rabb on the Hawks.

While Rabb’s decision to return to Cal for his sophomore year may have pushed his draft stock down, his strengths will benefit just about any team and if he does go as late as the 20’s, whoever drafts him will have gotten the steal of the draft.