Report: Hawks and Timberwolves have had talks about the #6 pick

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According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Minnesota Timberwolves are attempting to acquire a second lottery pick, and there has been discussion with the Hawks for the #6 pick that includes Jarrett Culver and their first-round pick, #17.

Per O’Connor’s tweet, the Hawks have garnered interest from several teams other than the Timberwolves — like the Pelicans and Celtics — for the #6 overall pick. This makes sense as O’Connor reported a couple of weeks ago that the Hawks were actively seeking trade partners for their lottery pick to make a playoff push in the Eastern Conference. This emerged following pressure from the Hawks’ ownership on Travis Schlenk and Lloyd Pierce to make the playoffs this season.

Before last year’s draft, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com, the Hawks were “angling to move up in the draft by packaging their various picks, and continue to explore possibilities there. Their primary target would seem to be Jarrett Culver” Chase Irle explored these possibilities following the report from Woo, where he noted Culver’s potential chemistry with Trae Young and his high ceiling.

The Hawks ended up selecting De’Andre Hunter with the #4 pick after various trades involving the Lakers and Pelicans. I anticipated Schlenk jumped the Suns, who were widely considered favorites to select Culver, to draft the Texas Tech product, but he did not. The Hawks obviously favored Hunter from the start, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still significant interest in Culver. 

Culver had a lackluster rookie campaign but showed flashes late in the season. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 40.4% from the field, 29.9% from 3, and 46.2% from the line in 23.9 minutes per contest. Though he was ascending late in the year, the Wolves could be looking to go in a different direction already. The same cannot be said for De’Andre Hunter.

Hunter showed flashes of great defensive instincts and shooting mechanics in his rookie year. He is headed in the right direction to become an elite-level 3-and-D wing. The Virginia product averaged 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 41% from the field, 35.5% from 3, and 76.4% from the line in 32 minutes per contest. He also shot 38.8% on catch-and-shoot three-pointers. 

As mentioned earlier in this article, the Celtics and Pelicans are also reportedly interested in a trade involving the #6 pick. There is no-telling what draft night has in store for Atlanta, but a trade seems increasingly possible. However, Schlenk has been known for throwing a few smoke screens during his time in Atlanta. It’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that the Hawks stand pat. 

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