So, there is a chance.
Can the Hawks move up and get the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft? There is precedent.
The Hawks are the No. 4 slotted team headed into tonight’s lottery where the final order for the June draft will be determined. They stand behind the Phoenix, Memphis and Dallas. The Hawks have a 13.7 percent chance to move up to the top spot and an 8.5 percent chance to remain fourth. The Hawks lost a tie-breaker with Dallas for the third slot.
Since 1994, when the current draft lottery system began, twice the fourth slotted team moved all the way up to the top of the draft. In 1994, Milwaukee got the top pick and selected Glenn Robinson. In 2012, New Orleans moved all the way up and selected Anthony Davis.
In addition, the fourth slotted team has moved up to the second pick twice, last done by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015; the third pick three times, last done by Oklahoma City in 2009; and has retained its position three times, last done by Phoenix in 2016.
Of course, there is some precedent that the Hawks could fall but not all the way to the seventh spot, the lowest they could drop. The fourth slotted team has fallen to fifth 10 times and to sixth four times.
The last time the Hawks were in the draft lottery, in 2007, they also were the fourth slotted team. They moved up one spot and selected Al Horford with the third overall pick. In 2006, they dropped from fourth to fifth. In 2005, they dropped from first to second. In 2004, they remained at sixth. In 2001, they moved up from fifth to third. In 2000, they fell from fifth to sixth.
The Hawks have a 14.2 percent chance to move up to the second pick and a 14.5 percent chance to move up to the third pick. They have a 32.3 percent chance to fall to fifth, a 15.5 percent chance to fall to sixth and a 1.7 percent chance to fall to seventh.
The Hawks have two other first-round picks this year. They will select No. 19 (from Minnesota) and No. 30 (from Houston). They will pick either No. 33 or 34 overall in the second round depending on the lottery results.
Here’s a look at the Hawks’ lottery picks since 1994:
1999: Jason Terry, Arizona (10th overall) – from Golden State
2000: DerMarr Johnson, Cincinnati (sixth)
2001: Pau Gasol, Spain (third) – traded to Memphis
2004: Josh Childress, Stanford (sixth)
2005: Marvin Williams, North Carolina (second)
2006: Shelden Williams, Duke (fifth)
2007: Al Horford, Florida (third)