2019 NBA Draft: If Suns Get #1, Could Atlanta Hawks Land Zion?

Zion Williamson Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A quick look at recent developments surrounding the Phoenix Suns and who the team might take with its first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and what that might mean for the Atlanta Hawks.

After a fairly good season that saw the team win 5 more games than they did in 2017-18, the Atlanta Hawks will now turn their attention to the 2019 NBA Draft lottery in May and its corresponding draft in June to try and land a big-time rookie to add to the team’s stable of young guns.

In this year’s draft, there is a clear-cut player that all teams are looking to take with the #1 overall pick: Zion Williamson.

However, one team that has been known to do some rather, shall we say, unorthodox things in the draft is the Phoenix Suns. This year, the Suns have the third-best odds to land the #1 overall pick after losing a tiebreaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers (note: the odds are actually identical for #1 overall, but the Suns’ pick could fall as low as 7th due to losing the tiebreaker per Tankathon).

According to a recent story by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, there is significant though that the Suns would “prefer to end up with” Murray State sophomore sensation Ja Morant as opposed to Zion.

Certainly, the Suns do not need another wing as they’ve drafted a glut of them over the past few years. However, none of the wings have the generational upside that Zion possesses, nor have any of them carried the name cachet that Zion will bring to the franchise.

Morant is an athletic freak and he is also a brilliant facilitator at the point guard position, which is an area of serious need for Phoenix.

However, would the Suns organization would be willing to take Morant #1 overall – allowing whatever team at #2 to take Zion?

While Vecenie did say he was “skeptical” the Suns would pass on Williamson at No. 1 because the “financial windfall any team figures to experience by selecting Williamson is real,” the Suns have been known to do some wacky stuff in the past, so this isn’t out of the question.

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In conclusion, if the Atlanta Hawks don’t win the lottery, which is, of course, the best-case scenario in this year’s draft, the next-best option would be for the Suns to get #1 and then take Morant – allowing the Atlanta Hawks to saunter to the podium and select Zion – jump-starting the renaissance of the Hawks franchise in one fell swoop.