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Atlanta Hawks’ Pair Of 1st-Round Picks Will Impact Free Agency Plans

NBA Draft

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Any time a team has two first-round picks, the option to trade both in order to move up in the NBA Draft is always a possibility.

However, with this year’s draft considered to be a weak class, the Atlanta Hawks will likely be stuck with the No. 17 and No. 18 pick. The first pick is theirs and the second was acquired last year in the Joe Johnson trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The choices for the projected middle-of-the-draft players aren’t filled with flashy names, but the Hawks could find valuable rotation pieces for new head coach Mike Budenholzer’s system.

For the Hawks, the outcome of the draft will have a huge impact on how they go about filling their 12 remaining guaranteed roster spots. The Hawks have two restricted free agents in Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson, but have yet to give either a qualifying offer.

Teague is coming off of his best season, so there will be plenty of interest in him once Chris Paul signs with a team. If the Hawks think Teague’s price will be too high, they could select a point guard such as Shane Larkin (Miami) or Dennis Schroeder (Germany).

Aside from Teague, Al Horford and Lou Williams are the only two players with significant roles that the Hawks have rights to, so the Hawks can basically draft the best value of whatever is available.

The Hawks have $40 million in cap room and are expected to be aggressive in free agency, so whoever is drafted will likely be used a backup. According to many NBA draft experts though, the Hawks are looking at Mason Plumlee (Duke), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) and Gorgui Dieng (Louisville).

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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