Hawks aren’t the only team with reported interest in Donovan Clingan

Clingan Hawks

It’s smokescreen season for the NBA with the draft a couple of days away. The Hawks, owners of the No. 1 overall pick, are at the forefront of the rumors and reports.

Most recently, word has surfaced that Alex Sarr’s camp doesn’t want him in Atlanta, with it escalating into a report from Jonathan Givony that Sarr going No. 2 to the Wizards is viewed as a lock.

The Hawks shouldn’t be concerned with where these prospects do and don’t want to go, but this could potentially present an opportunity for them to capitalize.

There seem to be three prospects in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick — Donovan Clingan, Zaccharie Risacher, and Alex Sarr. Now, this might be kind of confusing to some because last week Jake Fischer reported that teams believe the Hawks will choose between Clingan and Risacher. That culminated in Jonathan Givony reporting that Sarr going No. 2 to the Wizards is viewed as a lock to other clubs.

However, the ESPN pundit did backtrack this morning in a mock draft piece, revealing that the Hawks are willing to take Alex Sarr with the No. 1 pick, 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,” Givony wrote.

The rumor mill is flowing, folks! To add to the mountain of reports, Givony of ESPN also reported that the Hawks aren’t the only club picking at the top of the draft with interest in Donovan Clingan.

“San Antonio has expressed increasing interest in Clingan as of late, even going as far as interviewing him in recent days to get to know him better. Some think this might be a case of the Spurs signaling to rivals that the No. 4 pick is where they need to get to if they want to draft Clingan, as opposed to real interest in a fascinating twin-towers lineup with the 7-foot-3 UConn champion and 7-foot-5 Victor Wembanyama,” Givony continued.

But while Clingan is firmly in play for the Hawks, Brian Windhorst of ESPN doesn’t believe he’s a realistic option to go #1. 

“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.

This is peak smokescreen season, so there’s no telling what’s true and what’s not. These insiders are mouthpieces for NBA clubs, agents, and prospects.

The Hawks have been connected to Clingan more than any other prospect, and there were murmurs that Atlanta could move down to San Antonio’s No. 4 pick to land him while attempting to reacquire some of the draft capital they sent to the Spurs for Dejounte Murray.

Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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