NBA Draft: Hawks reportedly exploring trade down scenarios

Clingan Hawks

The NBA Draft is later this month, and the Hawks are still in the early stages of their process with top prospects.

As of right now, we know a few things about Atlanta’s potential intentions with the No. 1 overall pick.

Firstly, betting markets have Alex Sarr as the favorite to be the first pick. Most mock drafts have the Hawks taking the 7-foot Frenchman as well. Past the betting odds, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer believes it’ll be Zaccharie Risacher, who the Hawks saw play in his recent playoff game.

Another voice is ESPN pundit Jonathan Givony, who told Zach Lowe on his podcast The Lowe Post that Atlanta likes Donovan Clingan, adding that Quin Snyder especially likes him.

“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.

Givony is also reporting that the Hawks are considering trading down from the No. 1 pick — “exploring trade down scenarios,” according to the NBA pundit.

I don’t pretend to be a draft guru, but it does seem evident the value of picking first isn’t what it’s been in other cycles, so it might be in the Hawks best interest to trade down and acquire more assets if there’s a prospect they love but would be over-drafting at No. 1.

Reed Sheppard is one prospect, in particular, that I believe could be an under-the-radar target for the Hawks in a trade-down scenario. Fans might scoff at the notion of drafting a small guard with the club’s top pick, but hear me out.

Sheppard plays outstanding perimeter defense, plays off-ball well and would overall be the perfect backcourt complement to either Trae Young or Dejounte Murray. He’s an immediate contributor to winning basketball.

Granted, some might make that same case for Clingan or Sarr, and I’d be willing to hear them out, but leaving no stone unturned should be the Hawks’ approach this offseason, including trading down from the No. 1 overall pick.

Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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