Atlanta Hawks: Trading Down in 2019 NBA Draft Makes Perfect Sense

Cam Reddish #2 and RJ Barrett #5 Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Cam Reddish #2 and RJ Barrett #5 Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

A quick look at why trading down in the 2019 NBA Draft might be a good idea for the Atlanta Hawks.

Last year, the Atlanta Hawks were involved the biggest draft day trade during the 2018 NBA Draft. At this point, everyone knows that the Hawks opted to trade Luka Doncic for Trae Young and a future first round pick (which will hopefully convey this season).

The 2019 NBA Draft class is largely seen as a one-player class, with that one player being the inimitable Zion Williamson. If the Hawks were able to nab the #1 overall pick – which they have a roughly 10 percent chance to do so – Zion is the one and only choice. If the Hawks do not win the lottery, however, the team’s decision-making process becomes extremely interesting.

Zion would make for a transformative presence on the Hawks, but the second-best prospect in this class (Ja Morant) plays the same position that thoroughly entrenched and should-be co-Rookie of the Year Trae Young plays for the Hawks – so that’s out.

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Though R.J. Barrett is a big-time talent, if the Hawks aren’t sold on him if they move up into the top 4 of the lottery, trading down with another team makes plenty of sense.

The 2019 NBA Draft is not quite as deep as last year’s or even the 2017 one for that matter, so if teams get antsy for taking a high choice, the Hawks could be the team willing to take on future assets or a young player in order to move down in the draft.

For example, our Atlanta Hawks Big Board had players such as Grant Williams, PJ Washington and Matisse Thybulle higher than other players across many other mock drafts. If the Hawks land a pick in the top 4-5 of this draft that a team covets, trading back to a later pick would make a lot of sense.

Beyond that, if the ping-pong balls fall the right way, the Hawks might even have two opportunities to trade down and accrue future assets – so long as the Dallas Mavericks pick does not rise into the Top 4 (fingers crossed!).

Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has shown a willingness to trade down before, and he even hinted at moving up in a recent radio interview on local Atlanta station 92.9 The Game.

Next. Full Mock Draft 1.0: Hawks Take Two College Stars. dark

Who knows how the draft lottery will go for the Hawks, but it’s going to be entertaining to follow no matter what.