The Atlanta Hawks hold six picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, the most of any team in this year’s “watered-down” draft pool. Recently, the team traded away Taurean Prince to the Brooklyn Nets in order to obtain the 17th overall pick as well as a lottery-protected 2020 draft pick.
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The immediate reaction to this deal was that Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenkwas nabbing as many picks as he could in order to trade up in the draft. Now, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated has shed a little bit more light on the Atlanta Hawks draft plan in the 2019 NBA Draft, as the player the team is trading up for was highlighted in Woo’s Mock Draft 9.0:
“According to league sources, Atlanta has been angling to move up in the draft by packaging their various picks, and continue to explore possibilities there. Their primary target would seem to be Jarrett Culver, and they would likely have to get ahead of Phoenix to get him. After dealing with the Nets to add Allen Crabbe’s salary and acquire two first-round picks, Atlanta owns a league-high six selections in this draft, and is exploring all its options.”
Though we have previously expressed the idea that trading up in a draft that is widely deemed as wide open would be a mistake, Culver is one of the few prospects that would actually be worth trading up for (in the non-Zion Williamson tier at least).
R.J. Barrett is a bit too up-and-down, and the Atlanta Hawks do not need another one-position point guard defender like Darius Garland to play alongside Trae Young. Instead the team should be focusing on a backup point guard for Trae in the second round, and nabbing a player with a terrifically high upside in the lottery of the 2019 NBA Draft – such as Culver.
It seems likely that this will not be last rumor regarding the Atlanta Hawks as we creep ever closer to the 2019 NBA Draft.