NBA Draft Rumors: Could Donovan Clingan realistically go No. 1 overall?

More smoke emerges surrounding Donovan Clingan's continued rise to the top of the 2024 NBA Draft board.
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NBA Draft Rumors: As the whispers continue to swirl, we explore if there's a chance Donovan Clingan can be selected No. 1 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft.

In what has been categorized as a "weak" NBA Draft class, there have not been many consistencies atop draft boards to a consensus degree - with the exception of one rising prospect. Over the past few weeks, if there's been one as close to unanimous trend, it's that Donovan. Clingan is quickly rising up mock drafts and draft boards overall. There have even been some mock drafts that have Clingan going No. 1 overall.

With less than two weeks before the NBA Draft, the question is, how realistic is it for Clingan to be selected that high? That could not be easy to answer at the moment but perhaps a recent report does give added light to that possibility. According to a recent report, the Atlanta Hawks, who have the No. 1 overall pick, "really like" Clingan as a prospect. At this point, he's clearly on their radar as a potential fit.

The question is, does "really like" mean they'd consider taking him with the No. 1 overall pick? Of course, the Hawks wouldn't HAVE to select him as No. 1 overall. They could trade down and still try to get Clingan, but there's always added risk with that philosophy.

What will the Atlanta Hawks do?

The Hawks have a big decision to make and roughly have a week to figure it out. I'm sure there are other prospects the Hawks "like" too and their interest in Clingan is still something to keep an eye on. Ultimately, Atlanta's decision could come down to this: Are they ready to rebuild their roster this summer? If so, it wouldn't make much sense for Clingan to be the selection at No. 1.

I have a hard time envisioning that the Hawks would want to jumpstart their rebuild by drafting a center with the No. 1 overall selection in the NBA Draft. With all due respect to Clingan, those days are long gone in the NBA.

On the other hand, if the Hawks are thinking about a retooling of their roster and not necessarily a full-blown rebuild, this possibility becomes more and more sensible. For example, if the Hawks are going to keep Trae Young or Dejounte Murray around, having a defensive anchor at the center position could make sense.

The Hawks have a big decision to make and are clearly exploring every possible option heading into the NBA Draft.

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