3 Ways the No. 1 pick can help Landry Fields turn the Hawks into contenders

The Atlanta Hawks have a tremendous opportunity with the No. 1 overall pick, one that could help turn them back into contenders.
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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#1 pick gives the Hawks increased negotiating power

If the Hawks are convinced that they cannot win with any of the rookies in the class, they can look to acquire a veteran player in a trade. And with the No. 1 pick in hand, they figure to have a leg up on a lot of the field in negotiations.

The new stricter CBA rules – which limit how teams in the luxury tax can spend – could help their cause, especially if a prospect differentiates himself as the No. 1 pick.

Right now, ambiguity about who the top prospect is hurts the Hawks in trade talks.

The NBA Draft Combine is taking place this week in Chicago, though, and could see a shift in that. French big man Alexandre Sarr of the Perth Wildcats is the early favorite to be drafted with the No. 1 pick.

It is unclear how a trade would impact those odds. But the Hawks only need one team to fall in love with a prospect to the point they fear missing out on him.

When that happens, especially if it’s a middling team calling, the Hawks could make out well.

Timing will be key. The draft starts on June 26, giving Hawks general manager Landry Fields a little over a month to decide on a path forward and work the phones if that path includes a trade, be it for the pick alone or with a player asset.

Notably, Fields said that trading the pick was not on their radar yet. They are ramping up their efforts to gather information on the top prospects.