After landing the No. 6 overall pick in last week’s draft lottery, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk is prepared to take the top player on the team’s board at that spot, but will also consider the possibility of trading up, as he did a year ago, or down, as he did in 2018.
“We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to move one direction or the other in the draft, so we’ll see what options are out there on that front,” Schlenk said, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “If we stay at six, we’re going to take the player we feel like is going to be the best player long-term. If we create competition with some of our other young guys because they play the same position, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s healthy. You can never have too many good players. That’s not a problem.”
As Kirschner notes, the Hawks have been willing in the last couple years to let their lottery picks to see the court “early and often,” allowing them to play through their mistakes. With expectations increasing for 2020/21, that no longer figures to be the case — newcomers and incumbent players alike will have to show they’re deserving of minutes.
“I think it’ll be more of a situation where you have to earn (playing time) as opposed to be given, which is good,” Schlenk said of the potential No. 6 pick (Twitter link via Sarah Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “And the same for the guys that are on our roster.”
Here’s more on the Hawks:
- According to Kirschner, Schlenk feels confident that he has spoken to just about every prospect who is likely to be selected between No. 6 and No. 50 (Atlanta’s second-round pick) in the 2020 draft. In a typical year, that wouldn’t be the case, so that has been a silver lining of having to scout via Zoom.
- The Hawks and Vince Carter have had preliminary talks about him taking on a role with the team, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Nothing is imminent, Charania adds. Carter has spoken in the past about wanting to pursue a broadcasting role or to get involved in team ownership, but it’s not clear what sort of role he and the Hawks might have discussed.
- While the Hawks’ roster remains “unfinished,” the addition of Clint Capela gives the franchise a more promising nucleus heading into the 2020/21 season, according to Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who says it’s time for the club to start showing the fruits of its rebuilding labors.