The Atlanta Hawks currently hold the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, with speculation rampant for months that Travis Schlenk and the team’s front office could slide either up, down, or even out of the draft board if an appropriate situation presents itself. Though a trade is far from a given, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer added fuel to the fire on Wednesday morning with a report that a trio of teams could be looking to trade with Atlanta.
Sources: The Timberwolves are attempting to acquire a second lottery pick. They’ve had talks with the Hawks for #6. A possible deal could include Jarrett Culver and #17.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 11, 2020
A number of teams are interested in Atlanta’s #6 pick—the Pelicans and Celtics being among them, sources say.
O’Connor reports more specifics with the Minnesota Timberwolves, with new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas also in possession of the No. 1 overall pick. In this scenario, that premium asset seemingly wouldn’t be in play, but O’Connor notes that the Wolves and Hawks have “had talks,” with the potential of a package including 2019 lottery pick Jarrett Culver and the No. 17 pick.
As for that package specifically, the evaluation would vary almost entirely on the view of Culver. Though he struggled from an offensive efficiency standpoint as a rookie, Culver retains value as an intriguing defensive piece, and he improved tangibly during his maiden NBA voyage. The No. 17 pick isn’t an overwhelming asset but, in this draft, value could arrive in that range, and the gap between No. 6 and No. 17 may not be as large as it would be in a normal class.
Elsewhere, O’Connor also mentions the New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics, with both franchises possessing late lottery picks. The Pelicans have the No. 13 overall pick, as well as young players like Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Lonzo Ball. Of course, Atlanta and New Orleans partnered on the De’Andre Hunter trade during the 2019 draft, and there is a history there. As for Boston, Danny Ainge is armed with a stockpile of assets, including the No. 14, No. 26 and No. 30 picks in this draft, in addition to young pieces like Romeo Langford, Grant Williams and others.
At present, it is probably too early to make any sweeping judgments on any possibility here and, for weeks and months, it has been (very) obvious that the Hawks are open for business with the No. 6 pick. It remains to be seen which direction Schlenk will go, but it is wise to keep multiple avenues in play over the final week of this endless draft cycle.