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Ranking best prospects for Hawks after winning No. 1 pick

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The Hawks have quite the decision to make on their hands.

Atlanta entered the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery with just a three percent chance of landing the top pick. It leaves with the entire class of prospects at its discretion after receiving the No. 1 overall selection.

There’s still plenty of work to be done. This year’s draft is as volatile as they come. There are a handful of players who can compete for the title of best player available, from Alex Sarr to Stephon Castle. Nevertheless, the powers that be in the Hawks’ front office — namely general manager (and good luck charm) Landry Fields — will hope to hone in on a consensus sooner rather than later.

The stakes are high for head coach Quin Snyder’s group, particularly with rumors swirling around star guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray’s futures.

With that, here’s a look at the Hawks roster heading into the 2024-25 season, as well as examining some of the draft’s top prospects and their fit within the franchise.

MORE: 
Full 2024 NBA Draft lottery results

Unlike its lottery counterparts, Atlanta is far from a terrible team. It went 36-46 in 2023-24, good for 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks were trounced in the Play-In Tournament by the Bulls. However, they remain a solid, if unspectacular, side spearheaded by one of the sport’s most alluring talents: Trae Young.

Young is the star that stirs the drink in ATL. Over the course of his six-year stay in Atlanta, Young is averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 assists per night. He’s not only one of the league’s deadliest shooters but also one of its greatest playmakers.

Young is a formidable No. 1 in today’s NBA. He’s not alone, though. Dejounte Murray dovetails him in the backcourt, although rumors have persisted linking him with a move away over the past few months.

Here’s a closer look at Atlanta’s roster ahead of what figures to be a pivotal offseason for the franchise:

The Hawks have the pick of the litter when it comes to figuring out who to select in the 2024 NBA Draft. Do they look to find a long-term replacement for Clint Capela, a dynamic wing player capable of sharing the offensive load with Young or something else entirely? 

Everything is on the table for Fields and his fellow front office officials ahead of next month’s NBA Draft.

Here are the top seven prospects in
Kyle Irving’s most recent big board

 along with his expert analysis:

Sarr has had an interesting journey leading up to becoming our No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft. The French native played two seasons in the Overtime Elite development league before taking his talents to Australia’s NBL Next Stars program.

Sarr fits the mold of a modern-day center who is capable of more than just running rim-to-rim. He’s long and athletic, and the combination of his shot-blocking and budding perimeter skills make for a limitless ceiling.

Sarr held his own playing professionally for the Perth Wildcats, averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game.

Topic is the top-ranked guard in this class as a pick-and-roll maestro who can score in the paint at will. The 6-5 guard is an elite passer who plays as physically as his size suggests. He’s not as quick or shifty as most players at his position, but he plays with a calmness that every team could use in their floor general.

Topic missed a big chunk of this season with a knee injury after transferring to Crvena zvezda. Before his injury in January, he posted impressive averages of 18.4 points and 7.1 assists per game for Mega Basket, which is also in the world-renowned Adriatic (ABA) League.

Castle was one of the breakout stars of the NCAA Tournament, helping lead UConn to its second-consecutive National Championship. The 6-6 big guard defends at a high level, can score at the rim off the dribble and create for others.

He showed even more versatility during March Madness, playing off the ball and doing some dirty work in the paint on both ends of the floor. If he irons out his jump shot, he has the potential to be the best guard in this class.

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