With only about 80 hours until the 2018 NBA Draft, the rumor mill is churning and Sean Deveney of the Sporting News added considerable fuel to the fire surrounding the Atlanta Hawks on Monday morning. In the midst of a piece highlighting a number of factors up and down the draft board, the notion came to light that the Hawks could be souring on Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr., to the point that he may be “ruled out” by Atlanta.
There are fears that Jackson is soft, and word is that Atlanta has ruled out drafting Jackson with the third pick. The question for Jackson, then, will be whether the size and athleticism he has shown in workouts will outweigh the inconsistency he showed on the court.
Of course, it has to be noted that we are in the midst of silly season and, on a recent Locked on Hawks podcast visit from Michael Cunningham of the AJC, this sentiment wasn’t expressed in any way. Still, information is flying around at this stage and at least one report indicates that the Hawks may not be smitten with Jackson Jr. right now, even as he has emerged as something of a consensus top-five prospect based on his defensive profile.
In addition to that (very) interesting nugget on Jackson Jr., Deveney also brings word that the Hawks could be quite interested in Luka Doncic at the No. 3 overall pick.
If the Kings pass on Doncic at No. 2, the Hawks probably will scoop him up at No. 3 — coach Lloyd Pierce has been high on the chances that Doncic will be able to come in and boost the potential of the entire team with his playmaking ability.
It comes as no surprise that Doncic would be in heavy consideration if he falls to No. 3 but this is the strongest reporting to date concerning Atlanta’s express interest. Much in the way that any negative reporting (re: Jackson or otherwise) should be taken with a grain of salt, the same should be said for more positive indications with Doncic and others.
With that said, Doncic rates as something of a clear choice on many boards (including my own) at No. 3 overall and there could be fire to the smoke. It would be wise to take any snippet of information as simply one piece of the puzzle but these are two very interesting sentiments.