Ranking 7 scenarios in play for Atlanta Hawks with No. 1 overall pick in NBA Draft

Who should the Atlanta Hawks take with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft?
NBL Semi Final: Game 3 - Perth Wildcats v Tasmania Jackjumpers
NBL Semi Final: Game 3 - Perth Wildcats v Tasmania Jackjumpers / Paul Kane/GettyImages
1 of 7

Ranking seven prospects that will be in play for the Atlanta Hawks as they hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

When the Atlanta Hawks jumped up to the No. 1 overall pick all the way back from the 10th best odds back in the lottery, it further added pressure to one of the biggest offseasons in Hawks history. After three straight disappointing seasons, the Hawks have one major question to answer after another. What to do about Trae Young and Dejounte Murray? What about Clint Capela? De'Andre Hunter? Is Onyeka Okongwu ready to start? Is Jalen Johnson ready to take the next step? Do you jump into a rebuild (which is tough to do without several of your own picks)? Do you "reload"? Do you make small changes?

And now, what to do with the No. 1 overall pick? In a draft without a clearcut No. 1 guy. And now things have gotten even murkier in recent days.

With all of that being said, I believe that there are seven options for the Hawks (well, really it's 3 different things and then branches off of those). So, without any further ado, here are the Hawks options for Wednesday night.

Option #1: Draft French Center Alex Sarr at No. 1 overall

Right after Atlanta won the lottery, it felt like Alex Sarr to the Hawks at No. 1 felt for sure. I mean, he spent time in Atlanta at Overtime Elite, he is a high-potential 7-foot-1 unicorn-type prospect who could excel alongside whichever point guard stays and then Jalen Johnson, and has the most potential of any player in the draft.

Soon after, Zaccharie Risacher (who we will discuss later) entered the No. 1 pick discussion, and now other options have emerged as well.

However, over the last two weeks, things have just felt off between the Hawks and Sarr. Up to this point, Atlanta has reportedly not had Sarr in for a workout and two other prospects (who we will touch on a good bit here in a second) have gained a ton of steam towards being the Hawks' targets. Reports have also begun to surface that the reason for this is some mixture of Sarr wanting to play Power Forward in the NBA and wanting to be a focal point of an offense. Both things might be easier for him to do elsewhere than in Atlanta (with burgeoning star Jalen Johnson at Power Forward and the Hawks currently having two ball-dominant Point Guards in Young and Murray).

Now, this does kind of feel a lot like the 2022 NBA draft with the Magic and Paolo Banchero. The Magic never brought Banchero in for a workout either and leading into the draft there was a lot of movement regarding Jabari Smith Jr. and Orlando at No. 1. However, the Magic seemed to have Banchero as their guy all along and picked him at No. 1. That very well could happen here. There have been A LOT of conflicting reports here. Plus, the Hawks have likely seen a lot of Sarr while he was with Overtime Elite, so they could still feel comfortable drafting him anyway, even without a private workout.

I believe that Sarr has the highest potential of any player in the draft. As a 7'0 athletic center with the ability to work away from the basket, Sarr is another one of these modern-day bigs. Now, Sarr does not have the potential or hype that Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren have had in the previous drafts, but he has a lot of potential.

For Perth in the Australian NBL this past season, Sarr averaged 9.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on 52% shooting from the field (and he went 14-for-47 from three on the year), while playing roughly 17 minutes per game. His per-36 numbers are 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

While Sarr has the highest potential in the draft class, the pick is not without risk. There are questions about his ability to finish around the rim, as well as his rebounding. I think it would be difficult for the Hawks to pass on Sarr's potential, but there are a lot of options and things at work.