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2020 NBA Draft roundtable: Should the Atlanta Hawks consider trading down (or out) in the first round?

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Lloyd Pierce Press Conference Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020 NBA Draft arrives on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and, before the big day, the Peachtree Hoops staff is collaborating on a set of roundtable topics. In the second installment, we discuss the potential for the Atlanta Hawks to trade down or out of the lottery.

Note: Additional information on prospects can be found in our pre-draft scouting reports.


Brad Rowland: The short answer is, yes, the Hawks should at least consider trading down or out of the first round. It may not be popular, because trading down almost never is, but this is a draft in which the No. 6 pick doesn’t necessarily deliver a player that is markedly different in value from the No. 10 or even No. 14 overall. Draft slot still matters, and the Hawks shouldn’t slide down the board for no reason, but if a team wants to overpay in a trade to “get their guy,” Travis Schlenk could take advantage. Also, there is all kinds of buzz that the Hawks are trying to compete next season, and that brings trades into play that could net Atlanta a more established piece in a deal involving the team’s lottery pick.


Wes Morton: For sure, the Hawks should at least consider it. There are rumors of unease over the three straight seasons without a playoff appearance, and patience inside the organization may be growing thin. This may be an opportunity to pick up a veteran that can help the team win sooner rather than later. The important caveat is that it takes two to tango, so there may not be a team willing to facilitate a pick swap plus a player heading Atlanta’s direction, but the right value may be had in a season when other teams are projected to feel a significant salary cap crunch.

Glen Willis: For me, this totally depends upon how the draft breaks ahead of their scheduled pick at No. 6. If past years are an indication (and why wouldn’t they be?), Schlenk will have his eye on a specific player. Logic would suggest that if the player is still on the board that Atlanta will stay put and take him. If not, there may be a number of teams looking to move up for their guy which would set the table for a possible trade. My advice on this would be that all options should remain on the table up until their turn on the clock arrives. Either way, if things go to plan, this could be Atlanta’s last time, in the near term, landing in the top half of the lottery, and they need to make the most of it.

Graham Chapple: Of course. The Hawks should be considering every option out there and if the right deal comes their way to trade down or out, they should examine it. Recent history suggests they probably won’t trade out, so I would be perhaps a tad surprised if they trade out entirely. There’s a serviceable player in the first round to be had somewhere — this draft seems as good as any to rely on your intel and do something a little different. I wouldn’t disagree with the Hawks dropping a little further in the lottery if they can acquire a player who might help them in the near future — someone perhaps more established right now to help them in their playoff push.

Daniel Comer: Unequivocally, yes. I think back to a few years ago when Boston held the first overall pick and flipped it to Philadelphia for the No. 3 pick, which ultimately netted the Celtics Jayson Tatum and a future first-rounder. While public perception was lukewarm toward Danny Ainge’s side of the deal at the time, the veteran general manager had the last laugh, as he so often does. There will always be a debate about whether Travis Schlenk made a mistake with a similar deal that sent Luka Doncic to Dallas for what amounted to Trae Young and Cam Reddish, but the deal underscores two facts heading into this draft. One, Schlenk’s board likely looks different from your favorite draft analyst’s board, and two, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger on a deal he thinks is good for his team, even if the public may lambast the move in the moment.

Rashad Milligan: Yes, because if it’s any year to do it, it would be this year. I like the potential of a lot of the late first-round projections more than the safeness of the lottery prospects this year. I view any pick at No. 6 to more than likely be just another piece or a role player in this year’s draft, so why not trade back, or out, and get more value?

Ryan Kerley: Of course, they should consider it. If this is like the last couple of drafts, then Travis Schlenk likely has his guy. We are not really sure of who that is. If it is someone who is off the board by pick four or five, then I would not be surprised if Schlenk moved down. There are also rumors about Atlanta packaging the No. 6 pick for a player like Jrue Holiday. Let’s be honest here. The Hawks want to make the playoffs next year and many years after that. If trading for a veteran or trading down for a hidden gem is the best way to do it, then the Hawks definitely need to take a long look at trading the 6th pick.

Zach Hood: Yes, they should absolutely consider moving the pick or having a plan to move the pick if they don’t like the way the draft breaks in front of them. Ideally, they would be in talks with both teams trying to move up the board, and teams trying to trade quality veterans, and be able to weigh all of the options.