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Hawks own third pick in draft and GM Schlenk says he’s likely to keep it

The Hawks own the No. 3 pick for next months’ draft lottery, and general manager Travis Schlenk said the team is likely to keep it. 

The top five or so prospects in this draft are considered potential franchise players. That means the Hawks are likely to hear offers from teams looking to move up and pick third behind the Suns and Kings. 

“If somebody wants to make us a great offer, we will listen” Schlenk said following the unveiling of the draft order. “Right now, we are happy to pick three and we know we are going to get a good player.” 

Schlenk added with a laugh: “Or at least I hope I don’t make a bad move.”

There are no guarantees in the draft, but the Hawks will have a shot at one of the top players. They include Arizona center DeAndre Ayton, Real Madrid swingman Luka Doncic, Duke forward Marvin Bagley III, Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. 

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The Hawks had the fourth-best odds to win (13.7 percent) and a 42.6 chance to secure a top-three pick. After the Suns won the top pick and the Kings moved up to No. 2, there was a chance the Hawks could wind up picking as late as sixth. 

But then one of the Hawks’ combination came up for the No. 3 pick: 5, 4, 6, 12. It’s the highest draft pick for the Hawks since 2007, when they used the No. 3 selection on future All-Star Al Horford. 

The Hawks also own two other first-round picks, Nos. 19 and 30 overall. They are the only team with three picks in the first round. The Hawks’ second-round pick is No. 34 overall. 

Schlenk and his staff will remain in Chicago through the week to evaluate many of the top draft prospects at the scouting combine. 

“We were four before so it’s not really changing,” Schlenk said. “We kind of focused on eight guys we had picked for this if we were going to be in top seven. Now we kind of focus in on obviously on guys we can get at No. 3.” 

The lottery drawing was held before the results were revealed on ESPN. Michelle Leftwich, Hawks VP of salary cap administration, represented the team in the drawing room. Actress Jami Gertz, wife of Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler, was on stage for the televised unveiling.

> The AJC’s Michael Cunningham was in the lottery room. Here is his report.

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