Proposed Hawks trade lands 2 top-10 picks in potential draft blockbuster

This proposed trade would see the Atlanta Hawks land a pair of picks in the top 10 of the 2024 NBA Draft.
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields
Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. But this class is widely regarded among the weakest in recent memory. It is unclear how significant the gap between the top five picks is. 

Much of it will depend on which team is making a specific selection.

The Hawks have already been linked to several prospects with the No. 1 pick. Trading back for additional draft capital could be a viable way to maximize the value of their current positions.

“Trading this pick for more immediate contributors or moving down to take multiple swings in this relatively flat lottery class are options,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony wrote on May 31. “Take for example a scenario in which San Antonio would trade the No. 4 and No. 8 selections for the right to move up and draft [Zaccharie] Risacher.”

No. 1 to SAS

Givony’s colleague, Jeremy Woo, projects UConn point guard and national champion Stephon Castle to the Spurs with the No. 4 pick and French power forward Tidjane Salaun with the No. 8 pick. 

Given the fluidity of the prospect rankings for this class, those would likely differ for the Hawks.

Castle is a 6-foot-5 combo guard. But the Hawks took a similar player in Kobe Bufkin with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 draft.

Salaun is not ready to contribute at a high level. That could be an issue for a team built to compete right now pending a decision about what to do with their star backcourt duo this offseason.

Trading one could inevitably mean taking a step back depending on the return.

It is also fair to wonder if the Hawks can get more value from two top-10 picks in a trade than one at the top in a draft without a clear-cut No. 1 option.

Hawks have shown interest in Zaccharie Risacher with No. 1 pick in hand

Givony projected the Hawks to select Risacher, a change from big man Alexandre Sarr in mocks from others.

The Hawks have shown an interest in Risacher, sending a group led by General Manager Landry Fields to see the youngster play in person. However, the interest in Risacher could mean the Hawks can trade out of No. 1 and still get the big man they were previously projected to take.

Clouding matters, the Hawks could use help in both perimeter and rim defense.

Risacher could be a better option to fill the former than Sarr is at the latter right now. But Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman notes the big man could have the higher ceiling.

“Alex Sarr may offer more theoretical upside with his defensive versatility and face-up flashes at 7'1",” Wasserman wrote on May 31 despite also projecting Risacher to the Hawks with the No. 1 pick of the draft.

Given the rarity of the situation the Hawks find themselves in, betting on upside could be wise.