Thursday was a busy night for the Atlanta Hawks, as the team was one of the franchises wheeling and dealing throughout the 2018 NBA Draft. Now that the draft is over, here’s a look at the moves the Hawks made and the three players they’ve added to the franchise.
▪ First round, third overall pick: Drafted Slovenian shooting guard Luka Doncic, traded to Dallas for the rights to fifth overall pick Trae Young and a protected first-round pick in 2019.
The Hawks essentially moved back two spots while adding a first-round pick in next year’s draft. As a result, the Mavericks add the 19-year-old Slovenian superstar that Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo deemed “the most accomplished player in the draft bar none.”
Time will tell if the Hawks might have been better off keeping Doncic for themselves.
▪ First round, fifth overall pick: Trae Young, point guard, Oklahoma.
Young joins the Hawks after a standout freshman season at Oklahoma in which he led the nation in points per game (27.4) and assists (8.8). Per Woo, “There’s risk involved with him, and teams wonder exactly what parts of his game translate, but Young has the ability to be a uniquely useful guard. His team fit will be pivotal.”
After the draft, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz that he believes Young and fellow point guard Dennis Schroder “can play together.” There were rumblings that the Hawks would deal Schroder on Thursday night, though that never came to fruition.
▪ First round, 19th overall pick: Kevin Huerter, shooting guard, Maryland.
The Hawks added Huerter with a pick it acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in February 2015. Huerter is fresh off his sophomore season at Maryland in which he averaged 14.8 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor described Huerter as “a sharpshooting wing with range from deep and a feel for playmaking.”
▪ First round, 30th overall pick: Omari Spellman, power forward, Villanova.
The 6-9, 250-pound Spellman comes to Atlanta after a freshman year at Villanova in which the power forward helped the Wildcats their second national championship in three years, averaging 10.9 points per game, 8.0 rebounds and a 43.3 three-point percentage.
Woo wrote that, “After dropping weight during his redshirt year, Spellman was able to better showcase his athleticism and length as a shot-blocker and rebounder en route to a national title. He’s a legitimate set shooter from outside, committed to making winning plays and is a smart passer. He could be a sneaky value pick in the right situation.”
Second round, 34th overall pick: Drafted Kansas point guard Devonte’ Graham, traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Charlotte’s second-round picks in 2019 and 2023.
After adding three players to the fold, the Hawks opted to end their draft night by sending Graham to Charlotte. Graham impressed in his senior year with the Jayhawks, averaging 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest in 2017-2018.
CBS Sports’ draft preview explained, “Graham isn't an elite athlete, nor is he sure to be a starter in the NBA. But he's a savvy player who has a very high floor and is capable of running the second unit of just about any team in the NBA.”