National insider talks 'real sentiment' around recent Hawks trade rumor

A prominent insider shed light on the reaction around the league to the latest trade rumors surrounding the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks and the NBA are just waiting for the NBA Finals to end for what could be an explosive offseason to begin.

One decision, though – what they will do with the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NBA Draft – looms large with less than two weeks until they go on the clock. Reports that they have honed in on three targets – Alexandre Sarr, Donovan Clingan, and Zaccharie Risacher – have emerged.

But there has also been chatter that the Hawks have talked about trading back, namely for Clingan.

In a recent interview, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer downplayed those talks, though, agreeing with the idea that the opportunity is too good to pass on for the Hawks.

“When the Hawks did jump, I don’t think anyone in the room was shocked that a big team – a big being a high-number team – was moving up. But the fact that it was Atlanta, that they obviously have a lot of potential unfinished business from last year’s trade deadline, definitely sent a pretty keen reaction around that room and the thought immediately of, ‘Oh, this team could trade that pick,’” Fischer said on the “Hawks Report” podcast on June 17.

“That doesn’t necessarily seem to be the real sentiment at this point.”

Fischer echoed recent sentiments expressed by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie that the Hawks are not settled on any particular path yet. He also said that the most common prospects mentioned as potential top picks are Alexandre Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher.

He admitted that was not “locked in stone” while also projecting Risacher as the most likely option at this point. 

That fits with a new aggregate mock draft from HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

Hawks projected to draft Zaccharie Risacher with No. 1 overall pick in 2024 NBA Draft

“French forward Zaccharie Risacher is projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft for the first time in the HoopsHype aggregate mock draft poll,” Scotto wrote on June 16 “Risacher performed well in front of Hawks general manager Landry Fields, assistant general manager Kyle Korver, and head coach Quin Snyder, who flew overseas shortly after the NBA Draft Lottery. He also reportedly had a private workout with Atlanta this week, as noted in our HoopsHype workout tracker.”

The Hawks have also worked out UConn center Donovan Clingan, a two-time national champion and projected defensive anchor at the next level. They are still expected to have Sarr in for a workout, though that has yet to happen.

“Shades of Tobias Harris,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote about Risacher. “Connective piece on offense who could quickly earn a role with his two-way versatility.”

Like Sarr, who spent two years with the G League Ignite, Risacher has ties to Atlanta.

“Risacher will depart for Atlanta next week -- his home base for the remainder of the pre-draft process, a city he is familiar with after training there in previous summers,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony wrote on June 7. “Most teams don't expect him to be available in the draft past No. 4, when the San Antonio Spurs pick, so the Atlanta Hawks (No. 1 pick) and Washington (No. 2 pick) are looking like increasingly strong options.”

After Sarr looked like the early favorite, Clingan climbed the list due to a rumored affinity from Hawks head coach Quin Snyder.

The ties to and fit with Risacher could be proving telling signs of the Hawks’ intentions.