2019 NBA Draft Lottery: What Happens if Atlanta Hawks Don’t Win?

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 primer on fallback options if the Atlanta Hawks don’t win the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. EST, and the Atlanta Hawks will be hoping that the ping-pong balls offer the sweet relief of adding Zion Williamson with the #1 overall pick.

However, if the #1 pick is not in the cards for the team, what are some fallback options? Zion is the clear-cut best player available in this draft and is likely one of the best players available in any recent draft save for, say, LeBron James or Anthony Davis.

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If they don’t manage to nab the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Hawks must hope that the Dallas Mavericks also do not shoot up draft boards.

At this juncture, they have a higher percentage of their pick reverting to the Hawks, per Tankathon, but Hawks fans will still be paying close attention to the Mavs selection on lottery night because Atlanta will keep Dallas’s pick – as long as it doesn’t fall in the Top 5.

If the Hawks end up with solid, non-number one pick in addition to the Mavericks pick, the team will be in a plum position come draft time. At that moment, they will have myriad options. Will the team continue the organic rebuild by selecting two player in the lottery that might help key a youth-oriented Atlanta Hawks team helmed by Trae Young and a cast of capable characters? Perhaps.

Another potential outcome is the Atlanta Hawks either trading up or down in the 2019 NBA Draft. The Phoenix Suns have already expressed interest in choosing Ja Morant over Zion, so perhaps the Hawks could take advantage of the Suns were they to win the lottery?

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Of course, there are a lot of variables here, but in the end, it’s not the end of the world if the Hawks don’t win the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. Sure, it would be better if they did, but the team will still have a strong core regardless of the presence of Zion.