2019 NBA Draft: Atlanta Hawks Trading Up is Wrong Choice

Atlanta Hawks,Travis Schlenk 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks,Travis Schlenk 2019 NBA Draft (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A rapid rumination on why trading up in the 2019 NBA Draft is the wrong choice for the Atlanta Hawks – even after the recent trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

With the 2019 NBA Draft approaching swiftly, the Atlanta Hawks are sitting pretty with a whopping six picks in the top 45 of the draft board. After a shocking (and brilliant) trade with the Brooklyn Nets, the Hawks picked up another first-round pick – giving them three overall in the first come June 20 at #8, #10 and #17.

This is an even better haul than their three first-rounders from last year’s draft, when they selected Trae Young at #5, Kevin Huerter at #19 and Omari Spellman at #30.

Though the 2019 NBA Draft is widely believed to be fairly weak, Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has said that he believes the draft to be quite deep.

With that in mind, there are rumors that the Hawks will be looking to package this picks and move up the draft boards into the top 5, but let’s temper that belief. Of course, as a general manager, Schlenk has to say pretty much everything in order to not tip his hand about what he (and the team) will do in the draft.

Perhaps he was just performing due diligence by discussing the 2019 NBA Draft being deep, but there’s also a reason to believe that he was being truthful.

If that is the case, Schlenk and the Atlanta Hawks should not – and likely will not – package their picks to trade up in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Just look at what Schlenk has done during his tenure as Atlanta Hawks GM with a pick in the late teens:

2017 Draft: John Collins (19th overall)
2018 Draft: Kevin Huerter (19th overall)

Both of those players were absolute steals relative to their draft position, and Schlenk now has three picks in the Top 20 with which to take a swing on a high-upside player who turn into a franchise cornerstone or a high-floor player that can impact the team immediately.

Next. All 6 Hawks Picks After Nets Trade. dark

Either way, if picks were packaged to move up, the Hawks would lose flexibility in this draft, which would also go against the “asset acquisition” that the team is clearly still focused on. GM Schlenk is clearly reliable at this point, so let’s hope he makes the right choice and keeps all three first-round selection in the 2019 NBA Draft.