Spurs expected to work out the likely No. 1 pick, adding fuel to the trade rumor fire

Gregg Popovich
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Where there's smoke, there may be fire. After rumors that the San Antonio Spurs may trade up with the Atlanta Hawks in the draft to select first overall, they will now reportedly work out potential number-one pick Zaccharie Risacher.

This may be seen as them doing their due diligence since he may technically fall to the Spurs at four, in which case they could draft him with their own selection. However, the Spurs may instead trade the fourth and eighth overall picks to the Hawks to ensure that they are able to draft Risacher.

That could be seen as a bit of an overpay since this draft class isn't exactly star-studded. In fact, one could argue that the Spurs may be better served using the fourth pick to address their need at point guard and the eighth pick to draft either the best available player or to address their need at small forward. Then again, if San Antonio is confident that Risacher will be a great fit, then they shouldn't be nearly as concerned with the cost.

Should the San Antonio Spurs trade up to number one in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Trading two top-8 picks to move up to number one is a steep price, though the Spurs might see Risacher as their starting small forward of the future. It's easy to see why: Risacher has shown that he has the skill to be an efficient high-volume shooter as well as the ability to put the ball on the floor and make straight-line drives to the rim and finish.

Having a knockdown shooter play next to Victor Wembanyama could benefit both him and Risacher, with Risacher getting plenty of open shots and Wembanyama getting spacing to operate. He is even viewed as one of the better defensive wings in the draft, and at 6'8, he'd give San Antonio a big and switchable front line when paired with Jeremy Sochan and Wembanyama.

There may be another way that the Spurs can land Risacher. Instead of trading the fourth and eighth picks to Atlanta, they could instead offer the fourth pick and the rights to the Hawks' 2026 first-round pick back. The Spurs currently hold swap rights for that pick, meaning that Atlanta may give up a lottery selection. Getting that pick back would be huge for the Hawks, while also receiving the fourth pick which would allow them to draft center Donovan Clingan, to whom they have been linked.

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All in all, rumors of the Spurs trading up seem credible with the report that they will work out Risacher. However, the potential asking price from the Hawks may be high, but there might still be a mutually beneficial deal to be had.