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  1. NBA Draft 2019: Hawks would reportedly pass on Ja Morant at No. 2 overall, may target Jarrett Culver With only a few hours until the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the Atlanta Hawks are awaiting the result of ping-pong balls alongside the rest of the league. The team is in a strong position, with the potential for two picks in the top ten, but an intriguing notion came to light on Tuesday afternoon from Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Deveney indicates that the Hawks are “chief among” teams that would not target Murray State point guard Ja Morant at No. 2 overall if, of course, the lottery dictated that Atlanta arrived in that slot. In fact, Deveney flatly states that “if the Hawks land at No. 2, they won’t draft Morant.” That sentiment does not come as a massive surprise given the presence of top-flight point guard Trae Young and Deveney indicates that, as you may expect, a trade would be a possibility if Travis Schlenk and company found themselves in the runner-up position on lottery night. Beyond that, however, Deveney brings word that league sources say “the Hawks favor Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver, believing that his blend of athleticism and defensive prowess will make for a smooth transition to the league and that he can develop enough of a 3-point shot to be effective in the NBA.” It should be noted that Atlanta could likely acquire Culver at a later draft slot but, ultimately, Deveney’s sources indicate that, “if Atlanta winds up with the second pick, their choice likely would come down to Culver or a trade.” As part of his pre-lottery media availability, Schlenk was prompted about the potential to select a point guard (and, particularly, Morant) and he was non-committal on the subject. “If we feel like he was the best player, we’re going to take a long hard look at it,” Schlenk said. “A lot of that is going to be played out on the 14th, when we figure out where we are. Teams want point guards and point guards have value too, and I think last year proved that we’re not scared to take a pick and collect more assets. These lottery picks are the most valuable things we have, so we have to maximize those.” At this early stage, rumors are already flying and it is (very) important to note that the Hawks have only a 10.5 percent chance to land in the No. 2 spot by the end of May 14. Still, this is interesting food for thought, particularly through the lens of the team’s reported interest in Culver.
  2. 80 Let’s look at the official math. By Brad Rowland@BTRowland Apr 12, 2019, 4:56pm EDT SHARE Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports The 2019 NBA Draft is coming and the Atlanta Hawks will be in the mix in a big way. Not only will Travis Schlenk and company have their own first round selection (guaranteed to land in the top ten), but the Hawks also own a trio of intriguing second-round selections. Beyond that, there is even more interest in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery than there would be under normal circumstances, simply because the Hawks are owed a top-five protected pick from the Dallas Mavericks as part of the swap involving Trae Young and Luka Doncic. To that end, there are a number of things to monitor in advance of May 14 and, in this space, we’ll provide a handy guide to the math involved with the lottery proceedings. First, here are the odds in play for Atlanta’s own first round pick and where it might land after the ping-pong balls bounce. No. 1 pick - 10.5 percent No. 2 pick - 10.54 percent No. 3 pick - 10.56 percent No. 4 pick - 10.53 percent No. 5 pick - 2.22 percent No. 6 pick - 19.61 percent No. 7 pick - 26.75 percent No. 8 pick - 8.68 percent No. 9 pick - 0.62 percent For a bit more clarity, here are the combined odds for Atlanta’s own pick, broken down by cumulative draft slot. Top 2 pick - 21.04 percent Top 3 pick - 31.595 percent Top 4 pick - 42.12 percent Top 5 pick - 44.34 percent Top 6 pick - 63.95 percent Top 7 pick - 90.696 percent Top 8 pick - 99.38 percent Finally, here are some exotics on the Hawks’ pick, if you’d like to know some additional math in play. No. 2 or No. 3 pick - 21.095 percent No. 2 through No. 4 pick - 31.62 percent No. 2 through No. 5 pick - 33.84 percent No. 3 or No. 4 pick - 21.08 percent No. 3 through No. 5 pick - 23.3 percent No. 4 or No. 5 pick - 12.745 percent No. 5 pick or worse - 57.877 percent No. 6 pick or worse - 55.66 percent No. 7 pick or worse - 36.049 percent With that out of the way, the Mavericks have a chance to jump into the lottery (the top four spots are up for grabs in the lottery on May 14) and, if they do so, the pick owed to Atlanta will roll over to 2020, where it would again be top-five protected. Here are the chances that the Hawks will acquire the pick from Dallas in 2019. Yes - 73.8 percent No - 26.2 percent After a tiebreaker between the Mavericks, Pelicans and Grizzlies was executed on Friday, Apr. 12, the absolute ceiling for the Dallas pick (should it convey) was established as No. 9 overall. Here are the odds for the exact landing spot of the Dallas pick, in the event that Atlanta does, in fact, acquire it in 2019. 9th - 46.4 percent 10th - 24.3 percent (70.7% chance cumulative of either #9 or #10) 11th - 2.9 percent 12th - 0.1 percent Note: There is greater than zero chance of the pick falling at No. 13 overall, but less than 0.1 percent, as it would require four teams below them to jump up into the top four of the draft, which is incredibly unlikely. Stay tuned for full coverage of the 2019 NBA Draft and much more.