Insider reveals why Alex Sarr might prefer the Wizards over Hawks

NBA: JAN 06 Hawks at Lakers

The Hawks are gearing up for the most important offseason in franchise history, and no, I don’t think that’s crazy to say.

In a battle with the salary cap, the club will have to make difficult decisions on a number of players, including Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, one of whom will certainly be traded this summer, as well as Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and more. Jalen Johnson is also extension eligible, and Saddiq Bey will need a new contract if he’s to stay in Atlanta.

However, none of that will precede the NBA Draft, where the Hawks will be picking No. 1 on Wednesday night. As of right now, every pundit is throwing rumors against the wall and seeing what’s sticking, but Alex Sarr is dominating the conversation.

With the Hawks unable to get Sarr into the building for a workout, rumors began to flow that his camp didn’t want him in Atlanta. Jonathan Givony then reported the Hawks are down to two prospects — Zaccharie Risacher and Donovan Clingan — as Sarr going No. 2 to the Wizards is seen as a lock. Then, a new wrinkle was added to the saga.

“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.

But why? Why wouldn’t Alex Sarr want to come play with Trae Young and the Hawks? Quin Snyder is a proven commodity, and they’re much closer to competing than the Wizards. Well, Givony expanded on why he might not want to come to the Hawks.

“When you look at the Washington Wizards depth chart and you compare it to the Atlanta Hawks depth chart, with Jalen Johnson at the 4, Onyeka Okongwu, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter sliding to the 4, I understand their point of view where they’re looking at the Wizards and they’re saying, Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes, Kyle Kuzma at the 4, who probably views himself more as a 3,” Givony said on The Hoop Collective podcast. “Alex Sarr probably looks at that and says the opportunity there for minutes and to play a really featured role is really attractive.”

I’m not really understanding this entire notion that Alex Sarr won’t have a significant role in Atlanta. If he’s good enough, Sarr will be featured because Jalen Johnson is perfectly capable of playing a number of roles while the Hawks are expected to move Clint Capela and potentially De’Andre Hunter as well. Even then, Hunter is a more natural 3 if he’s kept.

A starting lineup of Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, De’Andre Hunter, Alex Sarr, and Onyeka Okgonwu would give Sarr more than enough touches if he’s deserving. I’m not exactly sure what the Wizards have to offer other than zero talent, comparatively.

“We can talk about all the situation in Atlanta with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray and the drama that’s around there and maybe that’s not a situation that’s attractive to a young player. A lot of players tried to avoid the Hawks last year,” Givony offered as another potential reason for Sarr’s preference of Washington.

Now, this is a sentiment that I could believe. Not necessarily that Trae Young and Dejounte Murray are the issues, but that the Atlanta Hawks organization has been dysfunctional in recent years. Granted, the Wizards aren’t some well-oiled machine either.

If I’m Landry Fields and the Hawks, I’m taking Alex Sarr as the No. 1 pick if he’s the best prospect on my board. Plain and simple.

Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire


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