Hawks trade stalled former 1st-round pick to West upstart: Report

The Atlanta Hawks shook up the 2024 NBA Draft's second round with a trade sending their former first-round pick out West.
Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks shook up the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft before it even began.

“ESPN Sources: The Atlanta Hawks are trading F AJ Griffin to the Houston Rockets for the 44th pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Griffin, 20, was a 2022 first-round pick out of Duke,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on X on June 27.

Griffin was the No. 16 overall pick in 2022, and burst onto the scene with sweet three-point shooting and a penchant for hitting clutch baskets.

But he fell out of the lineup in the postseason and was mostly an afterthought last year.

This offers him a fresh start with an organization built to withstand his current defensive limitations. Griffin also dealt with off-court personal issues last season but rejoined the team by year’s end.

It is unclear who the Hawks will target in Round 2, though several intriguing names remain on the board.

Duke’s Kyle Filipowski could be an intriguing option after the Hawks passed on center at No. 1

The Hawks selected Raccharie Risacher with the No. 1 overall pick of the draft on June 26. But they were without a pick on Day 2 after previous dealings. They have found some intriguing prospects in the second round including big man Mouhamed Gueye and swingman Seth Lundy. 

Other names to watch include UCLA big man Adem Bona, Marquette point guard Tyler Kolek, and Minnesota 2-guard Cameron Christie.

More moves could be on the horizon for Hawks

The Hawks are still expected to explore their trade option with Young or Murray this offseason.

They also have several other players who have been bandied about in trade rumors since the deadline, including starting center Clint Capela and small forward De’Andre Hunter. It is unlikely the Hawks will find 1-for-1 replacements in the second round.

They could, however, find suitable depth allowing them to move on from those two and elevate current players in backup roles like Onyeka Okongwu and potentially Risacher.

The Rockets made a late surge last season but missed the postseason like the Hawks did.

This deal also removes the future financial decision the Hawks would have had to make with Griffin, who now figures to at least get a chance to prove he is over whatever took him off the court in the first place.