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Hawks Considering Move Down Options In 2024 NBA Draft

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray contests shot by Houston Rockets wing Jalen Green

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly looking at taking Alexandre Sarr or Zaccharie Risacher with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. However, there’s at least one dark horse prospect who they’re looking at instead. After UConn center Donovan Clingan conducted a private workout for them, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports that the Hawks are displaying interest in moving down in the draft to select the 20-year-old (h/t Evan Sidery of Forbes Sport).

Hawks Considering Move Down Options In 2024 NBA Draft

Multiple lottery teams are said to be interested in drafting Clingan, aside from Atlanta. Chief among them are the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls, who are looking for starting centers. The Rockets have the No. 3 pick, the Grizzlies have the No. 9 pick in the draft, and the Bulls have the No. 11 pick. The Portland Trail Blazers, who hold the No. 7 and No. 14 pick, have been linked to Clingan as well.

That being said, every lottery team besides the Utah Jazz might have interest in Clingan. That includes the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Oklahoma City Thunder. Of those teams, the Wizards, Kings, and Thunder have strong interest in acquiring a starting-caliber center.

Portland Trail Blazers

Given that the Blazers have two lottery picks, the Hawks may be more motivated to make a deal with them than other teams.

Portland traded for former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton last offseason, a center who is handsomely paid. To that point, the Blazers may want to move off of Ayton due to his hefty contract. However, they don’t particularly need a center. His inconsistent motor is problematic, but Ayton averages a double-double and is technically sound on the defensive end.

Trading with the Hawks could solidly their frontcourt rotation though. His catch-and-shoot ability would complement Ayton and Jerami Grant’s shot profiles nicely.

Houston Rockets

Interestingly, the Rockets were dangling the No. 3 pick and Jalen Green for Brooklyn Nets swingman Mikal Bridges this offseason.

It’s unclear whether Houston is still looking at moving Green given his play this spring. If so, perhaps the No. 1 pick and Dejounte Murray could land them the Clingan, Green, and perhaps a little more. Frankly, Murray is the better player right now, but Green has more upside. Green’s also a more natural off-ball threat, though he still needs the ball in his hands to be at his best. Perhaps most importantly, Green developed into a staunch on-ball defender in 2023-24.

If Not Them, Then Who?

If the Hawks move down and don’t pick Sarr, Risacher, or Clingan, who could they draft?

Given their interest in centers, Purdue’s Zach Edey is a reasonable option. A two-time AP Player of the Year, Edey even bested Clingan in the 2024 National Championship Game. Baylor’s Yves Missi, a highly athletic big man with playmaking upside, is another center who’s received lottery attention.

However, Atlanta’s also demonstrated a desire to find a wing or forward who’s efficient from beyond the arc. That puts Colorado’s Cody Williams and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht on the shortlist as well. Williams may be able to man a 3-and-D role from Day 1, but flashes go-to scoring ability. Knecht is an effective slasher and spot-up shooter.


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