Draft lottery hopeful backs out of Atlanta Hawks workout after meeting rival

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks had to change their plans for their next set of pre-draft workouts.

Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, a projected lottery pick, was slated to be among a group of four prospects set to work out for the Hawks on June 6, per Lauren L. Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Williams would later double-back to announce that Wallace would no longer be a part of the group, though no further explanation has been provided from the Hawks beyond a new list.

Wallace earned All-Freshman honors in the SEC after averaging 11.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds for the Wildcats this past season. He shot 44.6% from the floor and 34.6% from beyond the arc but saved his best game of the season for last notching 21 points on 81.8% shooting with nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Kentucky lost that game in the second round of the NCAA Tournament but Wallace made an impression in that game and this throughout this season.

Again, no official reason has been given for Wallace’s withdrawal from the workout with the Hawks. But the likelihood that he goes in the lottery could play a part – the Hawks’ first pick is just outside the lottery at No. 15 overall.

He also had a workout with the rival Washington Wizards on June 5 along with several other draft hopefuls.

Washington currently owns the No. 8 overall pick in the draft.

It is not unheard of for teams to promise prospects they will select them if they are on the board when the team is on the clock.

Wallace is projected to go No. 11 overall to the Orlando Magic by Tankathon.com. But Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has him slotted to the Hawks with that No. 15 overall pick so there appears to be a strong chance he winds up in the division if not on the Hawks despite skipping the workout.

For what it’s worth, the Hawks have had luck in each of the last two years with AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson falling to them with picks Nos. 16 and 20 overall, respectively after being projected to go as high as in the top 10.

Atlanta Hawks bring in trio of Conference Tournament standouts

Even without Wallace, the Hawks have an intriguing group of prospects coming in for Tuesday’s workout which features three players who earned All-Tourney honors in their respective conferences.

Point guard Sincere Carry out of Kent State is the most decorated of the group. He averaged 17.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.7 rebounds this past season and was the MAC Tournament MVP in addition to back-to-back MAC Tourney and All-Defense selections.


Atlanta will also host Belgium native Toumani Camara of Dayton who, at 6-foot-8, is a two-time All-A-10 pick and posted a 13.9-point, 8.9-board line in 2022-23. Camara is also the only other prospect in this group to hear their name called when the draft takes place on June 22 at pick No. 49 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Akron’s Xavier Castaneda and Armaan Franklin from Virginia each earned Conference Tournament honors this past season, the second in a row for Castaneda.

Illinois State wing Seneca Knight is a big-bodied, experienced prospect.

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The Hawks also have international prospect Vincent Valerio-Bodon of Sopron KC in Hungary’s A-League coming in. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while also shooting 41.2% from the outside.