Hawks HC has eyes for 2024 draft's 'best shot blocker': Report

The Atlanta Hawks' looming draft decision could come down to three prospects, and Head Coach Quin Snyder may have a favorite.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks have options with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Still, at its core, keeping the pick and selecting a prospect – reports have most often linked them to Alexandre Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher, and Donovan Clingan – is the simplest choice.

It could be growing simpler by the day despite a seemingly increasing list of names being listed as the potential top pick. Sarr emerged first, gaining steam before and immediately after the draft lottery.

Risacher soon followed after General Manager Landry Fields went to see him in person.

Assistant General Manager Kyle Korver and, perhaps more importantly, Head Coach Quin Snyder was also in attendance for that visit. It appears the coach has eyes on Clingan.

“I've heard that Atlanta likes Donovan Clingan. Quin Snyder especially likes Donovan Clingan,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said on “The Lowe Post” podcast on June 4. “Atlanta had, I think, one of the worst defenses in the NBA the past few years. And one great way to fix that is to draft a guy with a 9-foot-7 standing reach, who is the best shot blocker in this draft, who anchored a national championship defense the past two years.”

This is in line with a report from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie that the Hawks are doing their “due diligence on the Huskies big man. It makes sense for the head coach to have a say in who the team may draft. 

It also makes sense to target a defensive anchor, though the Hawks have several centers on the roster. But Snyder’s influence has also been noted on other key occasions.

He was cited as being influential in the decision not to trade Dejounte Murray at the deadline. 

Snyder was also named as a voice that could have a major hand in the potential decision to split Murray and Young up this offseason.

Related. Snyder wanted to keep Murray. Hawks HC Quin Snyder put thumb on scale in potential Dejounte Murray trade. dark

Hawks urged to select Alex Sarr with No. 1 pick: 'Don't get this wrong'

The Hawks’ choice could be easier if they take heed of the message from Overtime Elite general manager Damien Wilkins.

Wilkins addressed concerns some have about selecting prospects who come out of the Atlanta-based program, a program which competes against professionals in the G League.

He also had a direct message for the Hawks.

“We knew we were doing something different,” Wilkins said on the “The NBA $DRFT Show” on May 28. “We now have six guys in this year's draft, most notably Alex Sarr, who can potentially be – and probably is going to be – the number one pick to our Hawks right here in Atlanta. 

“Atlanta, don't get this wrong. Don't mess up, Atlanta. Don’t mess this up.”

Rumors increasingly have the Hawks focusing on the trio of Clingan, Risacher, and Sarr. The unknown part is whether they feel they need to stay at No. 1 to land either of them.