The crowd at STATS Brewpub kept seeing the odds of the hometown Atlanta Hawks getting the top overall pick in next month’s draft improve by the commercial break.
The Hawks were holding a lottery pick party at the trendy downtown sports bar and the crowd on-hand continued to let off whoops and hollas after every pick from 14-4 rolled along.
Could the Hawks receive the number one pick in the draft and hold the rights to a future all-star or at least a very valuable trade piece?
The Atlanta Hawks didn’t come away with the top overall pick in the draft nor did they get the second pick but they did beat the odds —Atlanta, according to the amount of ping pongs ball afforded them after a 24-win season, could have fallen as low as seventh—and came away with the third pick in what is being called a special draft in regards to the amount of versatility, length and youth of the players available.
Players like European wunderkind Luca Doncic, Arizona freshman big man Deandre Ayton and Duke post-player Marvin Bagley III, to name a few, are the presumed top prospects—along with forwards Michael Porter, Jr., Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Mohamed Bamba—and the Hawks will now have a shot at one of these players or can trade up to the first overall pick.
Atlanta is possibly in the best position of all the teams that did not make the playoffs this season due to the three first-round picks they posses (along with the third pick the Hawks have the 19th and 30th). A trade of the third overall pick for a package of lower picks is a possibility or standing pat and adding three players and possibly four through the draft (the Hawks also have the 33rd overall pick this year) can be an option.
Here’s to hoping newly hired head coach Lloyd Pierce and General Manager Travis Schlenk see something they like at the draft combine in Chicago on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Both disclosed their plans to attend the workouts at Pierce’s introductory press conference on Monday at the team’s practice facility in Brookhaven.
The draft takes place on Thursday, June 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.