Atllanta Hawks

Hawks nab Duke standout, Auburn point guard in 2021 NBA draft

ATLANTA — Less than two weeks after the NBA Finals came to an end, it’s already time for the league to hold its annual draft.

And unlike the past several years when the Atlanta Hawks were picking in the top five, this year, we had to wait until the No. 20 pick to find out who the Hawks would grab.

The Hawks’ first pick, which came in the No. 20 slot, saw them draft Duke small forward Jalen Johnson.

The 6′9″, 19-year-old was considered one of the best small forwards in the 2020 class of recruits. Hawks star Trae Young hopped on Twitter after the pick was announced to show his support for his new teammate.

In the second round, the Hawks drafted Auburn’s Sharife Cooper as the 48th overall pick.

Young also took to Twitter to show his support for the 6′1″ 20-year-old point guard.

The Detroit Pistons, who held the first pick, drafted Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham. After that, predictions for what would happen were somewhat less clear.

The Hawks were expected to add another shooter to their already loaded lineup of swing players. ESPN’s draft projection had them taking 19-year old Cameron Thomas, a shooting guard from LSU.


Atlanta’s roster has several players who play a similar position to Thomas including Bogdan Bogdanovich, DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter, all of whom can or have played next to Trae Young at different times.

The other area of possible need for the Hawks is a possible center to backup Clint Capela.

Last year’s top choice Onyeka Okangwu, who played very well in the playoffs, will miss the first several weeks of the 2021-22 season due to shoulder surgery.

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Here’s a look at the pick order for the first round of the draft:


1. Detroit

2. Houston

3. Cleveland

4. Toronto

5. Orlando

6. Oklahoma City

7. Golden State (from Minnesota)

8. Orlando (from Chicago)

9. Sacramento

10. New Orleans

11. Charlotte

12. San Antonio

13. Indiana

14. Golden State

15. Washington

16. Oklahoma City (from Boston)

17. Memphis

18. Oklahoma City (from Miami via the LA Clippers, Philadelphia, and Phoenix)

19. New York

20. Atlanta

21. New York (from Dallas)

22. Los Angeles Lakers

23. Houston (from Portland)

24. Houston (from Milwaukee)

25. LA Clippers

26. Denver

27. Brooklyn

28. Philadelphia

29. Phoenix

30. Utah

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