2019 NBA Draft Rumors: Could Atlanta Hawks Trade with Thunder for #21 Pick?

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick overview of the recent rumors surrounding the Oklahoma City Thunder’s #21 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and whether or not the Atlanta Hawks could find themselves in trade talks with OKC.

Stunningly, the 2019 NBA Draft is only 15 days away with plenty of room for speculation, rumors and movement via trades ahead of draft night. One team that has been exploring trading away their first-round pick is the Oklahoma City Thunder at #21 overall. With the Atlanta Hawks still seemingly in “asset accumulation” mode, do they make sense as a trade partner for the Thunder?

Per a recent story by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Oklahoma City Thunder “have had multiple conversations with various teams about using their No. 21 pick in a trade to reduce team salary and relieve financial pressure, league sources said.”

This makes sense, as the Thunder have over $115 million committed to only five players for next season: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, Dennis Schröder and Andre Roberson. The first two are pretty much untouchable in trades for the Thunder (even if Russ’s contract will be extremely unpalatable as he ages), and Adams will likely not be moved.

Since the Atlanta Hawks just did trade away Schröder in the fateful Carmelo Anthony deal of last offseason, he will also likely not be returning to the Hawks. That leaves Roberson. Here’s a potential deal for Roberson to the Atlanta Hawks as well as the #21 2019 NBA Draft pick of the Thunder:

Now, on the surface this might look like a lot to give up for only a mid-second round pick, but there should be a variety of interesting players available at #21 in the 2019 NBA Draft – just look at our most recent mock draft to see who might be available.

As you can see, Alex Len and Taurean Prince would have to be given up, but the Hawks have already expressed interest in re-signing Dewayne Dedmon, meaning the team could also nab a backup big man in the 2019 NBA Draft.

In return, the Hawks get Roberson, who missed all of last season with a terrible injury, but when he played the year prior was one of the best defenders in the NBA – an area of sore need for the Atlanta Hawks.

Next. Mock Draft 4.0: Hawks Trade Down with C's, Pick 8, 14 & 22. dark

2019 NBA Draft rumors are sure to heat up over the coming couple of weeks, so keep it locked to Soaring Down South for plenty more coverage and updates.