Hawks work out Donovan Clingan, reportedly interested in trading down for UConn star

Clingan Hawks

The NBA Draft is creeping closer, which means the rumor mill is churning for the Hawks, owners of the No. 1 overall pick.

There’s been a lot thrown out there over the past week or so. Jonathan Givony reported that the Hawks are considering trading down from the No. 1 pick — “exploring trade down scenarios,” the ESPN pundit noted. Around the same time, a somewhat conflicting report surfaced.

Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints admits the Hawks could explore the “possibility of gathering future assets and moving down a few spots,” but adds, “this doesn’t appear to be a real option they are currently mulling.”

At this point, it seems Atlanta is down to three prospects — Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher, and Donovan Clingan. Sarr is currently the betting favorite, but the Hawks traveled to take in Risacher’s playoff game and are working him out in the coming days. More interestingly, Clingan is gaining steam.

On The Ringer’s NBA Draft Show, Kevin O’Conner reiterated the Hawks are indeed interested and could be open to trading down to land him.

“What I’m hearing is that they really like Clingan, who already worked out for the Hawks, and that they really like Clingan. I think that the Hawks would be open to trading down to get Clingan at 2, or 3, or 4, or wherever it might be if a team wants to move up for Sarr or Risacher,” O’Connor said.

This comes after Givony reported something similar, noting that head coach Quin Snyder especially likes Clingan.

“I’ve heard that Atlanta likes Donovan Clingan. Quin Snyder especially likes Donovan Clingan. Atlanta had, I think one of the worst defenses in the NBA the past few years. One great way to fix that is to draft a guy with a 9-foot-7 standing reach who is the best shot blocker in this draft,” Givony said.

The attraction to the UConn star is obvious. Donovan Clingan is a legit 7-foot-2 center who is already 280 pounds and can hang with the biggest that the Association has to offer.

Despite the freakish size, he’s a fluid athlete that can immediately be an impact defender for Atlanta. The hope is that he would have a Rudy Gobert like impact on the defensive end and potentially develop into a better offensive player. The Hawks would immediately see a return on their investment with Donovan Clingan. Alex Sarr may have a higher ceiling, but his floor is considerably lower too.

Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire


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