When the Suns lost out on any semblance of control over their own fate by falling to No. 6 in the 2019 NBA Draft, they must have known it would be tough to get their guy.
A new report from Sports Illustrated indicates as much, as the Suns’ interest in Jarrett Culver is matched by other franchises in the top 10 and could make it difficult for the leader of the Red Raiders’ national finalist squad to fall to No. 6.
Not only do the Cavaliers hold the keys to the draft at the fifth spot, but the Hawks are, according to SI’s Jeremy Woo, in pursuit of Culver as well.
From Woo’s latest mock draft (linked above):
“According to league sources, Atlanta has been angling to move up in the draft by packaging their various picks, and continue to explore possibilities there. Their primary target would seem to be Jarrett Culver, and they would likely have to get ahead of Phoenix to get him.”
This possibility lurked in the background of Atlanta’s deal last week to acquire the No. 17 pick in exchange for taking on Allen Crabbe’s salary. It never made much sense for the Hawks to add three first-round picks from a weaker class after nabbing three rookies last year as well, with firsts from Oklahoma City, Cleveland and Brooklyn incoming as well.
The Hawks also have the 34th, 41st and 44th picks in this year’s draft. They would be silly not to try to consolidate some of those picks and move up to draft someone they like. Unfortunately, if that player is Culver, it will be difficult for the Suns to get him.