The Atlanta Hawks have shaken up the 2019 NBA Draft before the action even got underway by striking a blockbuster deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. After the Pelicans acquired the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft from the Los Angeles Lakers as a part of the Anthony Davis trade, they’ve now flipped that to Atlanta.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the terms of the deal, which include the No. 8, 17 and 35 picks heading to the Pelicans. In exchange, New Orleans sends the No. 4 and 57 picks, a future second-round selection and Solomon Hill to Atlanta.
Shortly after Wojnarowski reported that the Hawks are also sending the Cleveland Cavaliers’ heavily protected 2020 first-round pick to the Pelicans.
The trade is eye-opening for a number of reasons, but it could also point to the potential for the Pelicans to make another deal after stockpiling multiple selections. There appears to be at least a chance that the Pelicans are trying to make a run at pairing RJ Barrett with former Duke teammate and friend Zion Williamson.
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Pelicans Eyeing Zion Williamson & RJ Barrett Pairing?
Among the massive amount of chatter which has come out during the pre-draft process, one thing which stood out was a report just prior to draft day. As Peter Vecsey reported, the Pelicans are assembling assets to try to jump the Knicks into the No. 2 spot to land Barrett.
Whether they attempt to make the deal with the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 pick or New York Knicks at No. 3, New Orleans has the assets to put together an incredibly strong offer. It’s essentially a foregone conclusion that they’ll select Williamson No. 1 overall, and finding a way to add Barrett could bolster their long-term outlook in a big way.
When looking at the Knicks, SNY’s Ian Begley reported that the team is prepared for a potential trade down if the offer arrives.
If the Pelicans managed to draft both Williamson and Barrett, it would create a situation which could place both players in a position to potentially have an interest in remaining with the team for the long haul. After all, it’s not often that players get the chance to play with their college teammate when both players are projected as top-three picks.
Hawks Reportedly Interested in De’Andre Hunter
Following the trade up to No. 4 by the Hawks, it was revealed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the team has interest in former Virginia Cavaliers guard De’Andre Hunter.
The move can’t be considered all that surprising by the Hawks, as there were rumblings throughout the week that they were attempting to move into the top-five. If their target was Hunter all along, there was very little chance they’d be able to land him at No. 8. But with this trade, Atlanta is now set to add another intriguing and talented young player next to Trae Young and John Collins.