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NBA Trade Rumors: Atlanta Hawks Targeting One Of Clippers’ Late Lottery Draft Picks

If the Clippers can’t trade up in Thursday’s draft, might they move back?

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers
This is C.J. Williams making a game-winning three against the Hawks.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

According to Michael Scott of The Athletic, the Atlanta Hawks have offered their 19th and 30th picks in the first round of Thursday’s NBA Draft in an effort to acquire a late lottery pick, targeting one of the Clippers’ picks at 12 and 13, or the Denver Nuggets’ 14th overall selection.

For the Clippers, a trade like this doesn’t make a ton of sense if it’s the only deal done. LAC is already set to have two first-round picks, and they’ll return almost their entire roster from last year’s 42-40 team. Talent upgrades are needed, but additional depth is not: as it is, the Clippers will have tough choices to make in order to trim their roster down to 15 in time for opening night. If anything, they need moves this summer to consolidate their talent, not spread it among more, lower draft picks.

However, it’s always good to have options heading into the draft, and this could be a solid contingency for the Clippers. If they only like one of the players left on the board at 12, they could move the 13th pick for 19 and 30, and then use one of those later picks in a subsequent deal, or draft a stash prospect to bring to the NBA down the line. Additionally, it gives the Clippers alternative asset options if a team they are attempting to deal with would prefer picks 19 and 30 to one of the Clippers’ two picks.

In short, I’m not sold on this being a a deal that the Clippers necessarily jump for (especially since I believe they’ll have two players that they like on the board at 12 and 13 if they keep the picks), but it’s always nice to have and contingencies pre-planned ahead of Draft night, when often times there’s only 5 minutes to react to the first domino falling.