The Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk introduces Lloyd Pierce as the 13th full-time coach in the Atlanta history of the NBA basketball franchise on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Hawks GM reiterates desire to trade (especially second rounders) in draft

Travis Schlenk has decisions to make – and the deadline for them is almost upon him.

The Hawks general manager has six selections in Thursday’s NBA draft — three each in the first and second rounds. Schlenk plans to be active at the draft, especially with the second-rounders (Nos. 35, 41 and 44).

“It’s no secret with our three second-round picks we are going to try to package them and move up if we can,” Schlenk said Friday. “That’s easy for me to sit here and say. It’s harder to accomplish.”

The hierarchy for the second-round picks is to trade, then select an player to keep overseas (draft and stash) and then sell. Call it the law of diminishing assets. Schlenk would like to avoid selling a pick as it means no real asset in return.

It’s also possible that Schlenk will package first-rounders (Nos. 8, 10 and 17) to move up.

Schlenk has previously said it was highly unlikely that the Hawks would add five rookies to the current roster. That was before a pending trade, which won’t be official until July, that landed the No. 17 pick this year for, in part, Taurean Prince.

“I don’t feel urgency to make a trade,” Schlenk said. “Will we try to be active? Sure. We try to be active in every situation like this, whether it’s the trade deadline or during free agency or during the draft. Those are the three times transactions can take place. We’ll take advantage of those situations and try to better our team every chance we get.”

It was widely believed that the top three picks in this draft will be Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett. After that, nothing is clear cut.

“What we are finding with this draft is there is a lot of depth to it,” Schlenk said. “You might see that guys one team has in the top 10, another has in the 20s. It’s really a beauty in the eye of the beholder deal. We like a lot of the guys there. We like to have the opportunity to have different stabs at it.”

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