The Hawks have three first-round selections in the 2019 NBA Draft. But, they’re hoping they won’t use them all.
Atlanta wants to trade up in order to pick Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver, according to a report from Sports Illustrated, which cites unidentified league sources.
Culver averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists as a sophomore for the Red Raiders. He’s projected to be taken by the Cavaliers at No. 5 in Sporting News’ latest mock draft.
“It’s a dream to get (to the NBA), and then once you get there, you’ve got to put in a lot of work,” Culver told reporters earlier this month. “You don’t get here by accident. So, I’m excited, whatever my role’s going to be on whatever team I’m on, then I’m going to be excited to fulfill that role.
The Hawks sent Taurean Prince to the Nets earlier this month in exchange for the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, a protected first-round selection in 2020 and Allen Crabbe. Brooklyn will also receive a 2021 second-round pick in the deal.
The Hawks now hold six total picks — including Nos. 8 and 10 — in the upcoming draft. General manager Travis Schlenk, however, told The Athletic last month they “probably don’t want to add” that many rookies to the team.
Schlenk said Atlanta is looking to pick players with a specific skillset.
“I’ve said it 100 times, and it sounds really elementary, but being able to dribble, pass and shoot in today’s league is really important,” Schlenk said. “If you’re a guy out there and you can’t do those things, you’re almost a liability. I would have no problem adding another 6-7 to 6-10 guy who can play on the perimeter to the roster because they’ll just find a way for them to get on the floor.”
The Hawks finished 2018-19 with a 29-53 record and missed the playoffs for a second straight season.
The Suns are “also known to be extremely high on” Culver, according to Sports Illustrated.