Draft Notes: Hawks, Culver, Morant, Knicks

The Pelicans and Grizzlies made meteoric rises in tonight’s draft lottery, landing the first and second picks respectively. It’s widely assumed that Zion Williamson and Ja Morant will be the selections, however, much can happen before the draft next month.

Let’s take a look at some notes from teams that didn’t move up in the lottery:

  • The Hawks are fond of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Sean Deveney of Sporting News writes. The franchise believes Culver’s “blend of athleticism and defensive prowess” will allow him to make the leap from the college ranks to the professional level.  Atlanta owns the Nos. 8 and 10 picks in the draft.
  • Had the Hawks landed the No. 2 pick, they likely would have drafted Culver or made a trade, according to Deveney, who suggests Atlanta was never going to draft Morant. Atlanta is fully committed to Trae Young as its point guard of the future and Young’s game next to Morant would be an awkward fit, writes Deveney.
  • The Cavaliers and the Mavericks are other teams that would have explored options outside of Morant had they landed No. 2, Deveney adds. Cleveland drafted Collin Sexton last June while Dallas invested in Luka Doncic.
  • The Knicks would not have traded Williamson if they landed the No. 1 pick, Adrian Wojnarowski said during ESPN’s Draft Lottery coverage. New York will have no such opportunity, as the team ended up with the No. 3 selection.
  • New York didn’t land the No. 1 pick as the franchise had hoped, but the Suns should be more disappointed than the Knicks in their result, Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix landed the No. 6 overall pick in the draft.
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14 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Hawks, Culver, Morant, Knicks

  1. hiflew

    Then again, most of this stuff is easy to say since it didn’t happen. It’s easy for the Hawks to say they would have taken Culver at 2 since they didn’t get 2. It’s easy for the Knicks to say they would’ve kept Zion since they aren’t getting him.

      • Not sure I’d gamble moving Williamson for Davis and the chance he resigns. Unless there’s an assurance he does, that deal doesn’t happen. Plus, the asking price for Davis could be extremely deep – Williamson, the Mavs draft picks, Knox, etc.

    • The Knicks indicated this prior to last night. Then again, through the same medium, they assured us that any issues KP had with the organization were in the past, and he and they were on the “same page”.

      Since the Hawks drew #8 and #10, I’m not sure how smart (or self-serving) it is to put out there that they would have taken Culver at #2. Aren’t they increasing the trade up price to get him?

  2. hiflew

    One thing I hope is that since two small market teams in New Orleans and Memphis took the top two spots, it might FINALLY stop all of the rigged lottery stuff and make people realize that maybe the prior lotteries they thought were rigged was just coincidence as well.

  3. x%sure

    Deveney had inside sources in Atlanta that said they liked Culver, and this makes sense. Culver is more of a complement to Young than Morant.

    But nobody on the Cavs said they would not take Morant. The Cavs still need a basketball QB– among other needs. The espn mock pick of Deandre Hunter to the Cavs is fine with me. So is Culver, same reason.

    • Michael Chaney

      I agree that the Cavs could still use a floor general; I’m a fan of Sexton and he had a solid first season, but to me he isn’t enough of a distributor and is probably best served as a 2-guard.

      That said, most of the better point guards in this class come with the same problem, so I think the best bet for the Cavs is to just take the best guy on the board. At 5, I think it would be Culver.

  4. braveshomer

    picks 8 & 10?!…basically that was the 2nd to worst outcome for the hawks sheesh

    • hiflew

      Yeah, on paper, it’s nearly the worst outcome, but it’s not really. They are still going to come out of this draft with two top 10 talents and their salaries are going to be low enough that it isn’t really going to affect next year’s FA possibilities. Let’s say they got the #4 and #9 picks in this draft They would have roughly gotten the same talent, but the cost on the salary cap would have been nearly doubled. Atlanta already has a good young core with a potential superstar in Young. They needed cheap young pieces to go around their already solid core and that’s what they got. Obviously getting Zion would have been better for them, but what happened wasn’t really that terrible for them.

      Look on the bright side, you could have been the Suns.

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