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NBA Draft: Atlanta Hawks reportedly centering on Jarrett Culver as ‘primary target’ in trade scenario

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Texas Tech v Michigan State Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After the team executed a high-profile trade in early June, rumors swirled around the Atlanta Hawks with regard to additional moves within the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. One such theory centered on the team packaging assets for a potential move up the board and, on Tuesday, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated provided clarity on the player the Hawks could be aiming for in that scenario.

According to the reporting, the player in question is Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver.

According to league sources, Atlanta has been angling to move up in the draft by packaging their various picks, and continue to explore possibilities there. Their primary target would seem to be Jarrett Culver, and they would likely have to get ahead of Phoenix to get him. After dealing with the Nets to add Allen Crabbe’s salary and acquire two first-round picks, Atlanta owns a league-high six selections in this draft, and is exploring all its options.

In mid-May, additional reporting linked the Hawks with Culver as their potential focus in the event of lottery luck. After Atlanta slid to No. 8, most of the chatter slowed, simply because Culver isn’t likely to be available at that slot, but the theory of a two-way wing is certainly interesting for the Hawks and Culver would fit the bill in that respect.

It should be noted that more rumors are (very) likely to emerge, both because of the way the draft process often unfolds and because of Atlanta’s stockpile of draft assets. It also remains to be seen as to what kind of package the Hawks would be required to invest to jump in front of Phoenix (at No. 6 overall) and, from a value standpoint, there are continuing questions about any “trade up” hypothetical. Still, this puts Culver in the conversation (alongside other rumblings with RJ Barrett) as a possible option for Atlanta as June 20 approaches.

Stay tuned.