Insider reveals hurdle between Hawks, betting favorite for No. 1 pick

The Atlanta Hawks have encountered a roadblock in their vetting process for the No. 1 pick ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks have their choice of prospects as the holders of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. However, not everything has been smooth sailing.

The decision itself is monumental, coming around only so often with a track record to match. 

The Hawks also have uncertainty around their All-Star backcourt duo of Dejounte Murray and Trae Young.  So word of complications with securing a private workout with Perth Wildcats big man Alexandre Sarr stand out, especially with the draft just one week away.

“The Hawks have been unable to bring Alex Sarr in for a workout to this point, but the door remains open for that to potentially happen,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony wrote on June 19. 

Sarr remains the betting favorite. Zaccharie Risacher has closed the gap, though.

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

Hawks: Zaccharie Risacher gaining on Alexandre Sarr to be No. 1 pick

“About two weeks ago, it appeared Alexandre Sarr was surely going to be the No. 1 pick in the draft,” Fox Sports wrote on June 17. “ However, the odds have tightened at the top of the oddsboard. On June 1, Sarr was -210 to be selected first. 

“Now, he is only -130. 

“With Sarr's odds falling, fellow Frenchman Zaccharie Risacher odds have risen from +190 to +155, closing the gap on Sarr, meaning that it appears, for the second year in a row, the No. 1 pick in the draft could be from France.” 

Clingan’s odds to be the No. 1 pick made a “huge jump,” going from +2500 to +600 in the most recent odds.

This aligns with Givony’s intel on the situation.

“While it appears the Hawks are far from making final decisions, many teams say their intel indicates Risacher remains the favorite at No. 1, partially because of the dual-track flexibility he offers of either remaining competitive next season or tapping into his upside as the type of big, versatile wing that is difficult to acquire outside the draft,” Givony wrote. “Clingan appears to be Risacher's main rival at No. 1.”

The underlying note, however, is that Sarr spent two years in Atlanta with the G League Ignite. He knows the area well and has spoken glowingly about the possibility of playing for the Hawks next season.

It is also not unheard of for top prospects to visit teams late into what is an exhaustive process. All of that combines to make this something to monitor but not worry about just yet.

Hawks GM shuts down trade talk for now

The only hitch in the current cycle of rumors: Hawks general manager Landry Fields, who came out and said they are planning to make the pick at No. 1 overall. He did leave the door open for the situation to change, though.

“We've looked at a ton of different scenarios,” Fields told the media on June 17. “With where we're at right now, we'll pick one. But yeah, I don't think it would be wise for us not to go over those scenarios. But there's been a ton that we've gone over and we'll continuously go over those as well. Even ones that may present later on with different team talks that we've had.”

Time is quickly running out for the Hawks to make a decision. But that also means they feel they have several potentially viable paths forward.