Draft hopeful makes telling decision after Atlanta Hawks workout

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks’ draft preparations are in full swing as they have invited several rounds of prospects in for workouts in recent weeks.

One of those prospects, former Kentucky freshman Chris Livingston, has made a rather telling decision on his future. Livingston was on the list of prospects slated to work out for the Hawks on June 7, per Lauren L. Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution but, by Thursday, Livingston canceled his remaining pre-draft visits.

“Kentucky’s Chris Livingston has canceled all seven of his remaining workouts for the 2023 NBA Draft, fueling belief that he’s received a draft promise from a team,” reported Shams Charania of The Athletic on June 8.

It is unclear if the workout ever actually happened.

The Hawks notably did not post the invitees from that day, something they did for the workouts that took place on the previous day and for those set up for Friday and many others during this process. Johnson has also had meetings with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of those teams expecting to meet with Livingston, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Livingston averaged 6.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 2021-22. He capped his collegiate career with an 11-point, seven-rebound showing in Kentucky’s loss to Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

He was initially slammed for declaring for the draft but has impressed during workouts.

Atlanta currently holds picks Nos. 15 and 46 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft which will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 22.

Atlanta Hawks scheduled to host another prospect canceling meetings

As if Livingston’s decision didn’t spark enough interest, the list of prospects set to visit the Hawks on June 9 is headlined by another who has been canceling meetings of late, though this one apparently has stuck.

South Carolina freshman G.G. Jackson was more productive than Livingston – 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds – and showed slightly more as a floor spacer.

“Jackson has canceled some recent workouts, according to league sources. That could be because he has received a promise from a team in the late teens or early 20s, reads his profile in The Ringer’s latest mock draft which summarizes Jackson as an “elastic forward who can create shots for himself.”

The Hawks will also host Gonzaga junior Julian Strawther whom The Ringer has mocked to them with the No. 46 overall pick. Strawther averaged 15.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists also knocking down 40.8% of his threes.

Atlanta also invited a couple of guards with strong defensive chops.

Texas A&M’s Dexter Dennis AAC Defensive Player of the Year at Wichita State following the 2021-22 season and averaged 9.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists this past season for the Aggies. He is not a great shooter – just 31% from deep this past season – but he did shoot 40% from three as a freshman and stands 6-foot-5.

The Hawks also hosted Yuri Collins of St. Louis, a smaller guard at 6-foot tall but one who earned back-to-back A10 Al-Defensive team honors. He also averaged an 11.2-point, 10.1-assist double-double last season adding 3.3 board to boot.

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Rounding out the group is former Texas and Arizona guard Courtney Ramey, a former All-Big 12 pick who put up a 10.5/3.9/3.6 line, and Overtime Elite prospect Jaylen Martin, a 6-foot-6 wing.