Insider: Potential No. 1 pick's camp looking to duck Hawks in 2024 NBA Draft

The Atlanta Hawks have a monumental decision ahead of them with the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NBA Draft but it may have just gotten simpler.
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields / Anadolu/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks’ decision on who to select with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft may have just gotten a little bit easier.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony first reported that the Hawks have been unable to secure a private workout with French big man Alexandre Sarr. That was later corroborated by a report from The Stein Line’s Marc Stein, and there could be a simple explanation.

Sarr and/or his team do not want to land with the Hawks.

“Every agency does things differently,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer said on the “Ball Don’t Like Podcast” on June 20. “Like right now, all this word that Atlanta is not a situation that WME wants Alex Sarr, the top prospect out of Perth, Australia, who's French. He played several different places. Went to Overtime Elite. They don't want him to be a member of the Hawks, which could cost him $9 million in theory over the course of four years. It's all about that second contract. It's all about fit blah blah blah.”

The subject came up in passing as Fischer was explaining Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul’s comments about client Bronny James. 

The implications are widespread.

Donovan Clingan & Zaccharie Risacher could be Hawks’ top choices for No. 1 pick

Sarr’s camp’s rumored stance would seem to put UConn center Donovan Clingan and Zaccharie Risacher in play for the No. 1 pick. Hawks general manager Landry Fields already said that they plan on making the pick.

Clingan is a two-time national champion and projects as a defensive anchor as a rookie. He had a private workout with the Hawks, shooting well and leaving them impressed.

Risacher also worked out for the Hawks and is coming off an impressive postseason run.

The Hawks need help in rim protection and on the perimeter, which keeps both players as viable options. It could come down to whether the Hawks are looking to compete sooner rather than later with Clingan viewed as the “safest pick” of the class.

However, Rischer profiles as the kind of two-way wing that has become a premium commodity in the NBA.

The Hawks’ top two centers made more appearances than their starting forwards last season.

Clint Capela made 73 appearances while Onyeka Okongwu’s 55 narrowly trailed De’Andre Hunter (57 games) and Jalen Johnson (56 games). 

Saddiq Bey made 63 appearances last season, starting 51 of those contests. But he is also making his way back from a torn ACL that will keep him out into the regular season. Bey is also a restricted free agent this offseason.

Fischer said on the “Hawks Report” podcast he sensed the Hawks might not fight to keep Bey.

Their greater need appears to be at the wing, which could explain Risacher’s rise to the top spot in many mocks over Sarr and Clingan.