Hawks reportedly work out prospect for potential trade back scenario

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 23 Kentucky at South Carolina

The Hawks have a difficult decision looming with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. Do they stand pat, or do they trade back and accumulate more draft picks?

There’s not an obvious answer wherever you turn. There’s no clear-cut top prospect, which renders Atlanta’s pick less valuable than in past draft cycles. With an inexperienced front office, the Hawks have a chance to make a franchise-altering, good or bad, in the coming days.

As of right now, it seems that Donovan Clingan is the top prospect on the Hawks big board, but they’ve reportedly worked out Zaccharie Risacher along with a slew of other prospects, including one that could be targeted in a potential trade back scenario.

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Hawks have worked out Matas Buzelis, Cody Williams, Ron Holland, and Reed Sheppard, the last of which the draft pundit notes is an “attractive option at No. 4 should they elect to slide back.”

Other clubs have reportedly expressed interest in the Hawks’ top pick.

“A handful of teams have expressed interest in the Hawks’ first overall selection, sources said, with some already speaking directly with the organization about what it would take,” Brett Siegel said.

The Hawks seem perfectly comfortable standing pat and making the pick at No. 1, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening to offers as Landry Fields noted.

“We as a group looked at a ton of different scenarios,” Fields said Monday, via ESPN. “Like if you keep the pick, you try to get back into the draft. … With where we are right now, we’ll pick one. … We’re planning on picking one.”

Reed Sheppard is a prospect I love for the Hawks that fans may write off because they think he’s a small ball-dominant guard. That’s not exactly the case.

Defensively, his size doesn’t hinder his effectiveness on or off-ball. Offensively, he’s an excellent shooter that is a capable playmaker. There are questions about his ballhandling as a lead point guard, but the Hawks don’t need that.

Sheppard can play off Trae Young in a way that Dejounte Murray hasn’t been capable and has enough ability to be a secondary ball-handler behind Young. Reed Sheppard just feels like the type of player that would thrive in Quin Snyder’s system.

The Hawks would obviously shock the NBA world if they draft the Kentucky product with the No. 1 pick, but a trade down scenario could get Atlanta back one of their first-round picks from the Spurs along with a player like Sheppard or Donovan Clingan.

Photographer: David Jensen/Icon Sportswire


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