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Hawks General Manager Landry Fields Telegraphs Draft Move

Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields

Various scenarios have been discussed regarding the No. 1 pick, but the Atlanta Hawks are choosing to keep the selection, reveals general manager Landry Fields (h/t 92.9 The Game’s Caleb Johnson).

“We as a group looked at a ton of different scenarios,” says Fields.

“If you keep the pick or try to trade back in the draft…with where we’re at right now we’ll pick [No. 1 overall].”

Hawks General Manager Landry Fields Telegraphs Draft Move

The very fact that the Hawks want to keep the pick may lead insight into who they want to draft. Behind Atlanta, the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs circle like vultures, hoping that they don’t select Zaccharie Risacher or Alexandre Sarr. As it so happens, the Frenchmen —projected to go back-to-back at the top of the draft —fit each of their needs.

Zaccharie Risacher

As of now, the favorite to go No. 1 is Risacher, the slick forward from JL Bourg. With his 3-point stroke, shot-creation ability, playmaking potential, and defensive upside, there’s a lot to like about him. The Hawks could use him to replace Saddiq Bey in the starting lineup and would likely benefit from it.

Though Bey is a hardnosed player, his streaky jumper clanged off the rim even when left open. In 2023-24, the 25-year-old shot a career-low 31.6 percent from 3, and 34.4 percent on wide open 3s. To make matters worse, he took 4.3 wide open 3s per game. Risacher isn’t exactly Michael Porter Jr. though his rapid release may remind people about the Denver Nuggets’ marksman. To that point, he made 38.7 percent of his outside attempts in 2023-24.

Yet, there are concerns with Risacher. He’s a 70.7 percent free-throw shooter, which is counterintuitive given his efficiency from deep in 2023-23. Unless, that is, one factors in Risacher’s previous performances. Up until this season, the 19-year-old never converted more than 34 percent of his 3s.

There are also question about his athleticism. Risacher certainly stands out against his peers in the LNB A, but will they translate to the NBA? He has a 31.0-inch vertical, below average. He ran the 3/4 court sprint in 3.38 seconds, below average. Lastly, he has a 11.51-second lane agility time, below average.

Alexandre Sarr

Immediately after the NBA Draft Lottery, Fields was asked about Sarr, confirming he had scouted him already. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he was the frontrunner in the beginning. However, the longstanding interest isn’t to be dismissed.

In Sarr, the Hawks would finally have a center capable of protecting the basket and guarding in space in equal measure. Unlike Risacher, there are no questions about his athleticism. At the other end, his explosiveness shows up not only when finishing lobs but when he creates scoring opportunities for himself. Possessing guard skills at 7-foot-1, he could allow for a creative 5-out offense. Though a bit raw, he arguably has the highest upside in the draft.

The big question is what the Hawks do with Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu if they do draft Sarr. Teams like the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a new center. Yet, knowing Atlanta’s dilemma, they could try to lowball the Hawks in trade talks. After all, inevitably, one would have to be moved. The question is how much?

Dark Horse Candidate

A dark horse candidate is Colorado freshman Cody Williams, who the Hawks have done their homework on. Williams has all the tools and projects as a player who can slot into either wing spot at 6-foot-8 and 178 pounds. He could be fated to start beside Trae Young or Dejounte Murray if Atlanta makes a trade.


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