Hawks GM Fields Expects To Keep Top Pick

The Hawks are expected to hold onto the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Charles Odum of The Associated Press reports.

Hawks general manager Landry Fields said during a Monday press conference that while he won’t stop fielding offers for the pick, he’s inclined to keep it.

“I think we’re really excited by the draft,” Fields said. “And the more that we uncover, like we go, ‘Great, I’m glad we have No. 1.’ I keep joking around like, ‘I’m not giving it back.’ So, I think we’re in a really good position here. I’m excited about it, frankly.”

Fields wasn’t expecting to be in this position before the lottery but Atlanta had the winning combination and zoomed up from the No. 10 spot.

If the front office has settled on a player, Fields isn’t tipping his hand. He did indicate the staff had narrowed down the list in recent days.

“I would say a week ago it was wider than it is now,” he said. “The board is definitely shaping up, tearing itself out.”

Most mock drafts have the Hawks going the international route and selecting either small forward Zaccharie Risacher or power forward Alexandre Sarr. If they decide on a domestic prospect, UConn center Donovan Clingan or Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard could be the surprise top pick on June 26.

There are apparently a number of teams willing to move up, if the Hawks are willing to part with the top selection.

“I got a little time off (Sunday) because it was Father’s Day,” Fields said, per The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Lauren Williams. “But for the most part, it continuously rings and we make outgoing calls as well, just to see what the rest of the landscape is looking like.”

According to Fields, he’ll make the final decision, not team owner Tony Ressler. Atlanta doesn’t currently own any other picks in the draft. Its second-rounder was dealt to Portland as part of a trade that allowed the Hawks to acquire Saddiq Bey.

Fields said the Hawks are looking for “a great fit for us, not just for the next day, but for the future as well.” He’s already certain they won’t have to worry about character issues.

“They’re just really good guys (and) good people in this draft and that doesn’t mean like it’s always like that,” Fields said. “But it really has been neat to kind of see especially the guys that are all projected to be at the top and guys that we’ve had in. Taking them to dinner and speaking with him, whether it’s in Chicago here in the building, on Zoom or elsewhere I mean, like we’ve had so many different mediums to do this. And just to get to know them more and more outside of just the intel that you gather around them. It’s just some really good guys.”

The Hawks would seemingly have a greater need in the frontcourt, though there’s been plenty of speculation that Fields may opt to break up his high-scoring backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

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