Trae Young could be the top target in the NBA draft for the Atlanta Hawks, who hold the No. 3 overall pick.
ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, citing sources, tweeted Thursday morning that Atlanta “really wants” to take Young. He said the team may be looking to trade down from the third pick to take the Oklahoma point guard later in the lottery.
Atlanta really wants Trae Young. Have heard this from multiple sources. They may trade down to take him and then whoever jumps up to #3 takes Doncic to get in front of Memphis.
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) June 21, 2018
Young has been rumored as a target for the Hawks for weeks, and he worked out for the team earlier in June. Moving out of the top three picks to take Young seems like the most likely scenario for Atlanta if it really wants him since he hasn’t been projected in the top five picks for months.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Wednesday that the Hawks were shopping the pick.
Teams are exploring deals with the Hawks for the no. 3 pick with the hope of moving up to select Luka Doncic or Mo Bamba, per league sources. Hearing interested teams are the Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Clippers and Mavs. The Celtics are a dark horse. @ringer https://t.co/tORujMslNc
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 21, 2018
However, SB Nation’s Brad Rowland brought up another possibility for Atlanta: staying at No. 3 overall and then trading up to draft Young. The Athletic’s Michael Scotto reported Wednesday that the Hawks wanted to move up and grab a second pick in the lottery, and they have the No. 19 and No. 30 overall picks as capital to make such a move.
One of the more consistent themes the whole way has been ATL's interest in Young. If he *really* falls outside the top 9, the Hawks certainly have enough assets to go UP to get him, rather than down.
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) June 21, 2018
The Atlanta Hawks have dangled their No. 19 and 30 picks to move up in the draft, league sources told The Athletic. The Los Angeles Clippers (picks 12 and 13) and Denver (pick 14) are among the targets for Atlanta, league sources say.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 20, 2018
So perhaps the Hawks trade back and take Young late in the top 10 or early teens, or maybe they take Luka Doncic or Mo Bamba at No. 3 and then move up to take Young. Both seem to be real possibilities at the moment.
The draft begins at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday.