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2020 NBA Draft roundtable: Should the Atlanta Hawks aim to trade up in the lottery?

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Georgia v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/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 fourth installment, we discuss whether the Atlanta Hawks should attempt to move up the draft board.

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


Brad Rowland: Broadly speaking, I’m not a fan of trading up in this class. That is doubly the case for a team trading up for a role player, as that usually isn’t a good idea from a value standpoint. As such, I don’t think the Hawks should trade up for players like Deni Avdija, Isaac Okoro, Tyrese Haliburton, etc., not because I don’t like those prospects, but because I don’t see the value gap required to invest more resources to select them. The one way in which I can at least understand trading up would be a swing for a player like Anthony Edwards. Atlanta could conceivably project Edwards as a star-level prospect and, if they do, it is potentially worth the investment to give the team a chance to unearth a No. 2 shot creator on the perimeter next to Trae Young.

Wes Morton: Probably not, unless a favorable deal is presented. I see the top eight picks in this class as fairly flat, much more so than most drafts, in that there is mostly even value to be had everywhere in that range. Additionally, the Hawks could greatly use a secondary ball handler to Trae Young, and this range contains multiple options of just that. It has been en vogue in recent drafts for the Hawks to trade to get “their guy,” but this time is probably a situation where it’s better to stay put and draft the best player available.

Glen Willis: Not unless the cost is negligible and they really like one (and only one) player in the range ahead of their pick at No. 6. Last year, New Orleans was able to create a bit of a bidding war for the No. 4 pick that ultimately sent De’Andre Hunter to Atlanta, but it really cost the Hawks a lot of capital. I just don’t see that player in this draft unless they have a lot of reason to believe that they can help Isaac Okoro develop his offensive game to a level few project for him as a reasonably likely outcome. In that case, he would be the only player I’d see possibly worth moving up to acquire.

Graham Chapple: Not unless the deal is too good to pass up. It’s not worth spending to move up in this draft otherwise, not in this draft, not unless you’re completely in love. There’ll be some value to be had at No. 6 and this draft could go a million different ways and the player the Hawks want might end up falling to No. 6 anyways. Last year was an overpay for No. 4 but it showed us Schlenk is willing to do it to grab the players he wants, but I hope we won’t see a repeat this year.

Daniel Comer: This probably isn’t the year for a trade-up, but I trust NBA decision-makers more than I trust the media members who tell us how bad this draft class is. Two of the NBA’s top five players — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard — were No. 15 overall selections in drafts that were considered below average, and while they’ve certainly surpassed expectations and profile more as exceptions to the rule, there’s something to be said for trusting a team’s scouting. If Schlenk thinks he’s found a difference-maker worth trading up for, I’d support the pick and start studying tape to figure out what he saw that everyone else missed.

Rashad Milligan: I know that rumor of someone in the front office loving LaMelo Ball was a thing a few months ago in this year we’ve dubbed “an offseason,” but I can’t see Atlanta trading up unless it really wants to go box office with the hometown kid Anthony Edwards. I like the cultural fit of Edwards with the city, but do you trade away key pieces of your future for a cultural fit? Probably not. Stand back and standby, Atlanta.

Ryan Kerley: I don’t think trading up is a great idea. The only two players that would be remotely acceptable to trade up for are Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball, but neither are perfect fits and this draft is weak overall. Losing a piece of the young core will probably not be worth it. If the trade is right and the Hawks have a good chance to get one of the aforementioned players, then it should at least be considered.

Zach Hood: It depends on the price, but probably not. I’ll concur with Brad, Rashad and others that if there is a trade-up, it’s probably for Anthony Edwards. If they move up for someone else, it’s probably not going to be a good move from a value standpoint. The talent gap between LaMelo Ball and Edwards versus the field might be worth a trade up, but I don’t really think you can trade up for Ball when you have Trae Young.