Leaked NBA draft picks helped Hawks GM Travis Schlenk avoid making a trade

The Atlanta Hawks got nervous. With a few picks still to go before they were on the board at No. 19 in Thursday night’s NBA draft, general manager Travis Schlenk worried both guys he had pegged for good value in their first-round slot would be gone by the time he was on the clock.

So, Schlenk called up the Milwaukee Bucks and came to a provisional deal to send picks their way in exchange for the 17th pick, so long as at least one of the guys they wanted was still available. Except, he never had to make that deal, because news of Milwaukee’s choice leaked to the media before it got to that point, and he knew both his guys would drop past No. 17.

“We had the 19th pick, and we’re coming down and we’re talking actually to Milwaukee on the 17th pick, talking about trading up to get a guy we like,” Schlenk told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, via ESPN. “There were a couple of guys we felt really good about on the 19th pick, obviously Kevin [Huerter] was one of them, and it leaked who Milwaukee was going to take.

“So, all of a sudden, we were able to pull back out of that deal and keep the draft pick instead of packaging picks to move up, because we knew that [there were] two guys on the board we felt really good about and only one team in between us, so that was beneficial to us last night.”

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First round picks in the 2018 NBA draft
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First round picks in the 2018 NBA draft
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Deandre Ayton poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted first overall by the Phoenix Suns during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Marvin Bagley III poses after being drafted second overall by the Sacramento Kings during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Luka Doncic poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted third overall by the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 21: Jaren Jackson Jr. shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected number four overall by the Memphis Grizzies during the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Trae Young poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted fifth overall by the Dallas Mavericks during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Mohamed Bamba poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted sixth overall by the Orlando Magic during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Wendell Carter, Jr. (Duke) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number seven overall pick to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Collin Sexton (Alabama) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Cleveland CAvaliers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Kevin Knox (Kentucky) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number nine overall pick to the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Mikal Bridges (Villanova) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number eleven overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Miles Bridges (Michigan State) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number twelve overall pick to the LA Clippers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Jerome Robinson (Boston College) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number thriteen overall pick to the LA Clippers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Michael Porter, Jr. (Missouri) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number fourteen overall pick to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Throughout the night, Yahoo Sports and other outlets reported news of who was going where before commissioner Adam Silver announced the picks. The entire league knew the Bucks were selecting Donte DiVincenzo before the pick was official. And two picks later, when the Hawks were still on the board, we knew they were taking Huerter before his name was called, too.

Reporters weren’t the only ones breaking draft news before teams were even on the clock. Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier called Danny Ainge live on Bleacher Report’s draft show, and the president of basketball operations unknowingly told everyone watching he was taking Robert Williams with the 27th pick while the Philadelphia 76ers were still picking at No. 26.

Now we know at least one team might have cost itself an additional draft pick as a result.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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