Stein’s Latest: Hawks, Paul, Spurs, Lakers, Cavs, Keefe

The Hawks won the draft lottery a couple weeks ago, jumping all the way up from No. 10 in the pre-lottery order to No. 1.

Atlanta is “increasingly expected” to select either Alexandre Sarr or Zaccharie Risacher with the top overall pick, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Substack link).

Both French prospects turned 19 years old last month, but they took different professional pathways in 2023/24. Big man Sarr played for the Perth Wildcats of Australia’s National Basketball League, while 3-and-D forward Risacher has been playing for JL Bourg in France’s top basketball league, LNB Élite (previously known as LNB Pro A).

Risacher is No. 1 on ESPN’s best available list, while Sarr is No. 2.

It may not occur before the draft gets underway on June 26, but Stein continues to hear the Hawks are interested in adding a “seasoned personnel executive” to their front office, which is led by GM Landry Fields.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest article:

  • Warriors point guard Chris Paul‘s $30MM salary for 2024/25 is non-guaranteed. Sources tell Stein Golden State is currently weighing its options on what to do with Paul. One choice would be pushing back his June 28 early salary guarantee date into July, but that would require Paul’s consent, which isn’t a given. If both sides agree, that would give the Warriors more time to explore trades, Stein adds.
  • If Paul hits the open market as a free agent, the Spurs and Lakers “keep coming up as potential suitors” for the future Hall-of-Famer, Stein reports. As Stein writes, Paul is close with Lakers superstar LeBron James and his family lives in Los Angeles, so there are obvious connections to the team and area.
  • Could the Lakers‘ slow-moving head coaching search be accelerated by the Cavaliers‘ recent firing of J.B. Bickerstaff? Stein explores that question, writing that L.A. may face some competition for candidates like Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego, as previously reported. Celtics assistant Sam Cassell, one of the “initial leading targets” in L.A.’s search, is another name to watch for the Cavs, according to Stein.
  • Wizards interim head coach Brian Keefe is viewed as the frontrunner to land the full-time job in Washington, per Stein. That echoes previous reporting from The Athletic.
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