Southeast Notes: Kupchak, Hawks, Magic, Bagley/Doncic

Mitch Kupchak joined the Hornets as the team’s new president of basketball operations and found himself in unfamiliar territory at the NBA draft lottery. The Lakers were a perennial playoff favorite for most of the 18 years Kupchak spent with the franchise, so the early draft picks were hardly ever on his radar.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes that Kupchak looked and felt out of place at the lottery. The new Hornets GM — who left the event with the 11th overall pick in this summer’s NBA draft — also expressed a goal for both his and the organization’s future.

“This was the first lottery and, I hope, the last lottery that I ever attend,” Kupchak said.

Kupchak added that he was more concerned with moving down from 11th than he was with moving up in the draft, as Charlotte only had a 2.9% chance at a top-three selection. Now, Kupchak and the Hornets will aim to use its positioning to pick the best player for the team. “We’ll obviously pursue all the options how to use the pick,” Kupchak said, “but right now, we’re going to concentrate on using the pick to pick a player.”

Check out more Southeast Division notes below:

  • The Hawks, who own the third overall pick in the draft, are not opposed to trading down from the slot if the right offer presents itself, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • If the Hawks keep their pick, Marvin Bagley III looks like an easy choice, assuming Luka Doncic is unavailable, Jonathan Givony said on The Woj Pod (via RealGM). “With Atlanta, you heard all along that Marvin Bagley was really their guy,” he said. “Potentially at two also, maybe even at one, I think they would have looked very hard at him. If he’s there at three, it’s an easy choice for them.”
  • The Magic have been riding some hard luck in recent years and drawing the sixth overall pick in the draft was just the latest instance, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Players such as Marvin Bagley III, Mohamed Bamba, and Luka Doncic will all likely be off the board when Orlando’s pick comes around.
  • While those big names may not be available when their pick rolls around, the Magic still believe they will select an impact player at No. 6, NBA.com’s John Denton writes.
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13 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Kupchak, Hawks, Magic, Bagley/Doncic

  1. If I’m the Hawks, I’m taking Bagley III at 3! It makes to much sense not to. He may actually have the highest ceiling with his athleticism and his motor and rebounding give him a high floor. The Hawks should not try to reinvent the wheel, take whoever falls to 3, Be it Ayton, Donic, or Bagley.

    In other rumors …… The rumor is Schroeder and 30 & 19 to Orl for #6, Austin and Biyombo. at first glance I wouldn’t include # 19 if I was the Hawks…. but the more I think about it, it could be a fair trade. especially after considering the Hawks could have a choice of at least 2 of these Bamba, Young, Porter, Or Knox. And before my fellow Hawks fans get their underwear in a bunch and say what about Collins, we have one big covered already! I like Collins and think he can be a high level starter in the NBA. However in terms of just talent all these bigs at ahead of him. Our GM also came from G.S. Who’s motto was to draft the best player available, regardless of positional need. They drafted both Curry and Thompson while they had all-star Ellis playing those positions.

    For the Magic if you believe Bleacher Report that resigning Gordon is the top priority and they want to make a playoff push next season, then Schroder should and will produce more wins next year than who you can pick at 6. Not to say the pick at 6 won’t produce more in the near future, just not next season. They’d also be getting 19 to draft for the future.

    There will be more offers to come in for Schroder, so we will see what happens!

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    • acarneglia

      I agree with everything you said Steve. The Hawks are in a good position moving forward. They’d be in a great position if they traded their assets before they became FA’s though.

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    • x%sure

      No Austin on the Orlando roster.

      It would be Bagley & Young or Doncic & Bamba, not 2 bigs, if that trade is made.

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  2. Dionis

    Kupchak has a couple options. Kevin Knox has a surreal potential at 6’9 215 and just needs to put on another 10-15 pounds to get a bit stronger. Lonnie Walker is another sleeper, 6’5 200 pounds with great athleticism and already a decent 3 point shooter. Both those guys already have a perimeter game and athlecism as opposed to guys like Butler and Kawhi who came into the league very raw. As for the Hawks no way you skip on Bagley, I’m concerned a bit about where he would play which will likely be the center position. But he should be able to hold his own against 4s and 5s since he’s so quick and athletic and can push the ball up the floor.

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  3. FromTheCheapSeats

    By the time the pre-draft process is over, Kevin Knox will have moved up everyone’s boards. It is extremely unlikely that he’ll be there at 11.

    If he is, Knox is a perfect fit for the Hornets.

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    • Dionis

      I would have said Lonnie Walker but he plays the same position as Malik Monk.

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    • Any other draft I’d agree, but this draft Knox is going between 10-14. Anything after that and he’s a steal.

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  4. Kupchek looked like he was being processed for murder when sitting there at the draft.

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  5. all in ad

    Please ship Schroeder south to Orlando. That dude doesn’t fit the pacers!!!! Ball hog….not sure why he mentioned pacers in his comments

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    • I have no idea why fans of other teams keep calling DS a ball hog. That is not true! It’s fine if you don’t want him, but at least attack him on his actual flaws. He mentioned your Pacers because if his friendship with Victor, according to the report.

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  6. camdenyards46

    Why was he concerned about moving down from 11? Is that even possible?

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    • Luke Adams

      The Hornets had 8 possible lottery combinations (out of 1,000), while the 12/13/14 teams had a combined 18 lottery combos, so there was technically a much better chance of the Hornets being leapfrogged and moving down to No. 12 (6.3%) than the Hornets moving up to the top three (2.9%).

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