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Plan A: Explore trades
The Atlanta Hawks will have two late lottery picks. They can look to add a pair of rookies to their core or package the selections together in hopes of either landing a top-three pick or an established veteran talent.
It would only make sense to move up if the Hawks can crack the top three, or even top two, for a chance to draft Barrett. But unless Atlanta is willing to include John Collins, the Knicks won’t be interested.
Targeting established, immediate-impact players via trade, like Myles Turner or Aaron Gordon, would make more sense.
No. 8: Best player available
Plan A: Jarrett Culver
If no trade is made, the Hawks need to draft the best player available (assuming he fits) at No. 8 and then make their selection at No. 10 based on what they did two picks earlier.
De’Andre Hunter would make sense, but it’s unlikely he makes it to Atlanta here. Culver is also a long shot, but he’d be a strong fit next to Trae Young for his size, offensive versatility and defensive potential.
Plan B: Cam Reddish
Scouts are split on Reddish, who had an inefficient season. But it’s tough not to like his fit in Atlanta, where he’d have a tremendous passer in Young to play off and enough of an opportunity in the rotation to get touches and shots for restoring his confidence. He’d give the Hawks another three-and-D wing and a possible replacement for Taurean Prince if the Hawks aren’t intent on re-signing him long-term after the season.
Plan C: Romeo Langford
The Hawks will want to learn more about the thumb injury that may have impacted Langford’s shooting woes. If it turns out surgery corrected the issue, and he eases concerns during workouts, the scoring 2-guard could be a winning pick for his fit and upside. With Langford, the Hawks would be getting a scorer next to Young who can create his own shot from each level in the half court.
Plan A if the Hawks can’t add two of three targets at No. 8: Jaxson Hayes
The Hawks now have offensive weapons, but they’ll want to tighten up defensively. Hayes, who turns 19 next week, could be the draft’s top rim protector after averaging 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes. Assuming Collins continues to develop his jump shot, the 6’11” Hayes would be a fit in the middle to anchor Atlanta’s defense. He also ranked in the 90th percentile or better off cuts, rolls and in transition.
Plan B if the Hawks can’t add two of three targets at No. 8: Brandon Clarke
Clarke is similar to Hayes in that he impacts games with his athleticism and off-ball action. But he’s also 22 years old and 6’8″, which is why Hayes could be favored. Still, Clarke was an even better shot-blocker (4.5 per 40 minutes) while flashing more offense out of the post and spot-up situations.