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When it came time for the Atlanta Hawks to pick in the draft Thursday night, they liked enough players still available that they felt comfortable making a trade to move down.

The move paid off for the Hawks. They still got a player they coveted, Xavier guard Jordan Crawford, while also acquiring another second-round draft pick.

“We love shooters,” Hawks general manager Rick Sund said. “We added another shooter to the team. We had the luxury of taking a shooter, a wing, or a project [center]. We decided to go with the best player available.”

The Hawks selected Texas forward Damion James with the No. 24 pick and traded him to the Nets for the second of their first-round picks (No. 27 overall) and their second-round pick (No. 31). The Nets then selected Crawford for the Hawks at No. 27 and German center Tibor Pleiss at No. 31. With the pick at No. 53 the Hawks took Pape Sy, a forward from Senegal.

The Hawks traded the rights to Pleiss to Oklahoma City for cash. Sund said the Hawks did so because they want to fill out the roster with veteran players.

After all those moves, the Hawks landed one of the best scoring wings available outside the lottery. The Hawks had identified a perimeter player with offensive skills as an area of need.

The Hawks considering drafting a player with an “NBA skill,” as assistant general manager Dave Pendergraft called it. Crawford is a good shooter who also will drive to the basket to score.

“It will be hard for him to come to a team that won 53 games and get minutes,” Sund said. “But he’s talented enough where if we get injuries, he’s a quality player who can do some scoring.”

The Hawks said the selection of Crawford is not directly related to the potential loss of Joe Johnson, an impending free agent. They didn’t expect to acquire a rotation player late in the first round, anyway.

But Crawford might provide a bit of insurance if Johnson were to leave via free agency. If that happens, Jamal Crawford, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, could move into the starting lineup, and Jordan Crawford would be a scorer off the bench.

Read the full story here.


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