In the lead up the 2019 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks were linked to a number of trade rumors. Given the team’s array of draft assets, that certainly wasn’t a surprise but, in the hours before the official process began, the chatter increased to the point where many assumed the Hawks would indeed pull the trigger on a consolidation trade to land “their guy” within the lottery. Now, that is a reality, with word breaking that the Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed on a deal, with Atlanta acquiring the No. 4 pick, the No. 57 pick, a future-second round selection and Solomon Hill.
Atlanta has acquired New Orleans No. 4 pick in the draft for No. 8 and 17 and 35, league sources tell ESPN. Pelicans are sending Solomon Hill, No. 57 pick and a future second-round pick.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
Atlanta is also sending a Cleveland heavily protected first-round pick in 2020 to the Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
As noted by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks will pay a hefty price to acquire the No. 4 pick, including the No. 8, No. 17 and No. 35 picks this year, along with the 2020 first-round selection owed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Throughout the process, the price tag to move from No. 8 to No. 4 was thought to be expensive, but the inclusion of the 2020 pick from Cleveland and the need to take on Solomon Hill’s contract drives that point home.
Hill is owed $12,758,781 for the 2019-20 season and, while that is not fully “dead” salary, the veteran forward is being included as a salary dump in this transaction. Atlanta, having cap space to work with, can absorb Hill’s contract without clearing additional space, but the move will limit the team’s flexibility as free agency approaches.
Beyond the implications of the trade itself, Wojnarowski brings word that the Hawks will pursue Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter with the No. 4 overall pick.
Atlanta is pursuing Virginia's DeAndre Hunter with the No. 4 pick, league sources tell ESPN. Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk makes a big move in lottery second year in a row to get his man. Last year, it was Trae Young. This time, DeAndre Hunter.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
For additional context, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Hawks could consider Duke’s Cam Reddish with the No. 4 pick, with Hunter presumably acting as the favorite.
Atlanta has targeted two wing players at No. 4 — DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish — and is leaning toward selecting Hunter, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2019
This deal, combined with two trades executed in the hours before the draft, leaves the Hawks with the No. 4, No. 10 and No. 57 picks as the draft rapidly approaches. With Hunter as the presumptive pick at No. 4, it will be interesting to see what Atlanta’s draft board looks like at No. 10 overall, with players like Jaxson Hayes, Goga Bitadze, Nassir Little and Sekou Doumbouya thought to be targets in that range.
In addition, the reported deal cannot be officially completed until the previous deal involving the Lakers and Pelicans comes to fruition, that could leave Atlanta without the No. 4 pick when Summer League opens on July 5 and, at the very least, will limit what the team’s front office is able to discuss in public at the end of draft night.
Stay tuned for more on this transaction and full draft coverage throughout the evening.