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Atlanta Hawks complete pre-draft trade with Miami Heat


NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Note: This post has been updated with new reported information concerning the pick protections involved.

The Atlanta Hawks announced on Wednesday afternoon that they had completed a trade with the Miami Heat, officially moving the team back to five draft picks in tomorrow’s NBA Draft. General manager Travis Schlenk has been adamant throughout the pre-draft process that the team did not want as many rookies on the roster as they had picks and moving the worst of their six selections for what will likely end up just being cash was the easiest move they could have made. Officially, the trade moves No. 44 in the 2019 draft for cash and a conditional 2024 second-round pick.

Later in the evening, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Hawks will receive $1.88 million as part of the transaction.

As far as the incoming is concerned, the 2024 selection is announced to be Miami’s own and the latest reporting from Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn’t paint a flattering picture for the Hawks.

The Heat previously traded the 56-60 range to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 2018 trade that brought Dwyane Wade back to Miami. For the Hawks’ purposes, this structure would mean the pick is very unlikely to convey, meaning that Atlanta essentially sold this pick to Miami, with the faint chance of a pick in the 51-55 range arriving in 2024. If, however, the structure does allow for the Hawks to garner the pick for the entirety of the 31-55 range, the calculus would change, but that is not where the reporting is at this juncture.

During his media availability last week, Schlenk told reporters that he didn’t prefer to sell second-round picks, which is precisely what he seems to have accomplished in this deal.

“It’s no secret with our three second-round picks we’re going to try to package them and move up if we can,” Schlenk said. “What we don’t want to do, or what we’ll try to avoid is selling them.”

The short-term focus will be on the cash Atlanta received in the trade, but the significant item from a basketball perspective is the protections on the 2024 pick. There were rumors and speculation that the Hawks would try to package all three of their second-round picks (Nos. 35, 41, and 44) to move up into the bottom part of the first round, but that exact path is off the board for now. Of course, they can still use Nos. 35 and 41 to move up and further consolidate their draft assets.

This likely will not be the end of Atlanta’s activity on the trade front over the next few days, but a small move to get things started helps to clarify their position going into tomorrow’s festivities.