Sometimes, we hear what type of move a team wants to make. Sometimes, we even hear about potential trade partners for that team. Sometimes, we hear which player a team wants to draft.
Here’s a juicy rumor that combines all three. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
The Atlanta Hawks are dangling their two first-round picks for a trade in hopes of moving up in Thursday’s NBA draft, possibly as high as the top five, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.
Atlanta has had trade conversations with at least one team picking in the top five, a source said.
The Hawks also are intrigued by UCLA small forward Shabazz Muhammad, a source said.
It’s difficult to see those three sentences as part of the same plan, at least part of a plan that will happen.
The Hawks have the No. 17 and No. 18 picks in the first-round, and those alone shouldn’t net a top-five pick. Though many critics have panned this draft as weak, there’s a consensus top six building: Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett and Victor Oladipo. A team in picking fourth to sixth – as of right now, Charlotte, Phoenix and New Orleans – is in a good spot to get a valuable prospect. A team in that range should command more than the No. 17 and No. 18 picks, an area where the better prospects likely already thinned out.
And trading into the top five to get Muhammad seems like overkill. The Kings, who hold the No. 7 pick, reportedly like him, but it’s difficult to see him go any higher than that.