Donovan Clingan reportedly not in play for Hawks at No. 1 pick

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The Hawks are at the forefront of conversations as the NBA Draft looms. Owners of the No. 1 overall pick, media pundits are gathering information on Atlanta’s intentions and possibilities.

The consensus? Nobody knows what the Hawks are going to do under Landry Fields. There seems to be an agreement that one of Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher, and Donovan Clingan will be the pick, but there are a lot of strings attached.

For starters, it’s understood that Sarr doesn’t want to play in Atlanta, or at least prefers Washington over Atlanta, with many viewing Sarr going No. 2 to the Wizards as a lock. However, newer information suggests he’s still firmly in play for the Hawks at No. 1, which may force the Wizards to trade up.

“NBA teams say the Hawks are indicating they could take Alex Sarr at No. 1, which some speculate might be more an attempt to force the Washington Wizards to trade up,” Jonathan Givony wrote.

Prior to that report, Jake Fischer reported that Atlanta was expected to choose between two prospects — Zaccharie Risacher and Donovan Clingan. The latter of which has been connected to the Hawks throughout the draft process.

More clarity has now been brought to the situation. Brian Windhorst told Jonathan Givony on The Hoop Collective that Clingan is certainly in play for Atlanta, not at the No. 1 overall pick, but rather in a trade down scenario.

“From what I understand, I really don’t think the Hawks are taking Clingan if they stay at 1. I think if they traded back, I think Clingan would be certainly an interesting player for them,” Windhorst said.

He’s not the only one either. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer is reporting something very similar.

“Clingan remains one of their top choices. But I’m told that the Hawks would ideally prefer to trade down to take the 7-foot-2 sophomore center, rather than do so with the first choice,” O’Connor writes.

There’s a lot of smoke and mirror games being played at this juncture in the process, but Windhorst is as plugged in as any NBA pundit, and it does make sense the Hawks prefer to trade down for Clingan because the value at the top pick isn’t ideal.

He may be the safe pick because of his high floor, but his ceiling is lower than that of Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr, so it could behoove Landry Fields to move down the board to acquire more draft capital and still get their guy in Clingan.

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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