The 2018 NBA Draft is nearly here and, before it arrives on June 21, the Peachtree Hoops staff gathered in roundtable fashion to answer a few pertinent questions. In the fourth installment, the panel considers the looming question surrounding whether the Atlanta Hawks should consider accepting an offer to move down from No. 3 overall.
Brad Rowland: It’s tough. This is a draft in which the Hawks need to come away with a premium asset and, at least on my personal board, there is a four-player top tier. With that said, a player like Trae Young could easily be seen as a top-tier talent (with unquestionably high upside) and, if Atlanta has a longer tier than I do at the top, a good way to find added value would be to slide back a spot or two in pursuit of additional assets. It’s impossible without knowing exactly what they can get but nothing should be OFF the table at this point, even if it would take a lot to justify this kind of move.
Jeff Siegel: If they do, it should only be a few spots. Trading down significantly, say for the Clippers’ No. 12 and No. 13 picks, plus a future asset, puts them one year behind on getting a potential superstar, most of whom come at the top of the draft. If a team like Dallas or Orlando bowls them over with an offer to move down from No. 3 to No. 5 or 6, then that makes more sense, but my board differs from Brad’s in that way; I have Doncic in a tier by himself at the top, then six or seven players in the next group below him, all with their strengths and weaknesses.
Graham Chapple: It really depends on who the Hawks are targeting. I’m sure they have a very rough idea who they want to select with that third pick by this stage. Someone like Marvin Bagley III probably isn’t going to be available after No. 3 or No. 4, should the Hawks trade down. If Atlanta are OK with that -- and they’re targeting someone like Trae Young, Mo Bamba or Michael Porter Jr. instead -- then they should explore what package is available for them to do that and if the returns are that where it’s in Atlanta’s interest. Would I do it? No, probably not but, of course, it all depends on the offer that comes in. The Hawks are in a great spot regardless -- one of Ayton, Doncic or Bagley/Jackson are in their grasp at No. 3 and they can gauge offers from other teams about moving up. A great position to be in.
Zach Hood: Depending on who the Hawks want the most out of the top five or so prospects, this is an interesting proposition. If they think they can get who they want at five or six, then it might make sense to pick up some additional assets. However, I do not think they should move back more than two or three spots. To me, Ayton, Bagley III, Doncic, Jackson Jr., and Bamba are head and shoulders the five best and safest choices in this draft and, unless the return is next to outrageous, it would be a mistake to miss out on one of the top tier talents. Unless they are completely sold on Young, Porter Jr., Carter Jr., or another prospect being just as good or better than the guys in the top five, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to move any lower for a less than spectacular return.
Glen Willis: I really don’t see a scenario where that makes sense. But the landscape will be increasingly more likely to change each day as draft day approaches. I do believe the top tier of this draft class includes just four players, so if Memphis ended up extremely motivated to move up one spot and the Hawks equally valued two of the remaining players on the board, it would make sense to extract some value from that opportunity.
Xavier Cooper: I personally feel like the Hawks better off using the No. 19 pick and shipping off another piece (Dennis Schröder or otherwise) to try and get something in the top 12 to go alongside their No. 3 pick. I don’t think it would be smart to move down unless it’s maybe a couple of spots. Players like Mo Bamba, Trae Young, and Jaren Jackson Jr. are looking more and more intriguing as we get closer to the draft. That tells me that the Hawks aren’t exactly drooling over the possibility of getting Marvin Bagley, when there are plenty of other players that could potentially be more valuable in the NBA. Moving to No. 6 or 7 wouldn’t hurt, but moving to No. 10 or 11 would sting in my opinion. Who knows, this does look like a draft full of sleepers, so trading down could be good thing.
Sam Meredith: I would say no simply because it is hard to find a natural trade partner with the Hawks. The Bulls might be the one team that could offer the amount of assets needed to make it happen but I think Atlanta should make the pick at No. 3. I definitely would not trade out of the top eight picks, where the prospect talent drop off becomes significant.
Greg Willis: No. In my opinion, the top tier in this draft only has three players: Ayton, Doncic and Jackson. The Hawks are guaranteed one of those three players. Of course, if someone calls, you have to listen. But unless someone makes an offer that is far too good to pass up, they should sit at three and take the best player available.
Josh Lane: No. It was the plan at the beginning of the season to snag a top-end player in this draft. It would seem silly to move down after spending an entire season of tanking in order to get a top three pick.