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Atlanta Hawks ‘down to three or four guys’ for No. 3 overall pick

The field is narrowing.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks hold the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and, from the moment that became reality on May 15, speculation has been rampant concerning what Travis Schlenk may elect to do when the team comes on the clock on June 21. For the most part, the consensus points to Arizona’s Deandre Ayton being off the board but, aside from that, Schlenk and his staff are working from a clean slate that includes a number of prospects that should be in consideration.

On Tuesday morning, however, Schlenk sat down with 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and shared that the Hawks have narrowed their field of evaluation when it comes to their lottery pick.

“We’re down to three or four guys with the third pick. There’s going to be some options for us to maybe slide back a couple spots. We’re going through the process of trying to evaluate what it would take in a package from another team for us to do that; what the group of pool players that might be available there to see if any of those scenarios would be attractive to us.”

As noted in his quotes above, Schlenk does voice the possibility of a move back in the draft, which would theoretically open the field again. Much of the attention paid to the No. 3 pick includes Luka Doncic, Duke big man Marvin Bagley III and Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr., as they have emerged as something nearing consensus top-five overall prospects. However, a potential move down the board would almost certainly add fuel to the fire for those backing the notion of Oklahoma guard Trae Young, Texas big man Mo Bamba, or even Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. landing in Atlanta.

Of course, Schlenk makes sure to note that there might not be an “attractive” scenario to trade down and the front office almost certainly wants to stay near the top of the draft in order to snatch what they believe to be a top-tier prospect. Still, it appears that the crop of prospects in consideration is smaller than the group Schlenk previously noted to be at seven or eight, and it will be interesting to see who makes the cut.