NBA Rumors: Is a Trae Young trade on the horizon for the Hawks?
The Atlanta Hawks currently find themselves 8th in the Eastern Conference despite making a big off-season move. That move was to acquire all-star point guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for three first-round picks and a first-round pick swap. Despite Murray’s performance, the team is only 25-25 after 50 games. To be clear, it could be worse, but with a lot riding on this season, they really should be better than they are.
Worse yet, there has been a lot of drama surrounding the Hawks this season. All-star guard Trae Young has clashed with head coach Nate McMillian, forcing his teammates to pick sides in the feud. They seem to back McMillan, which suggests that Young isn’t particularly popular in his own locker room.
Trae Young may ask the Hawks for a trade.
According to Chris Haynes and now Eric Pincus, the situation has deteriorated to the point where Young will request a trade this offseason. That can’t make the Hawks feel good about the team’s future when they risked a lot to build around Young. They infamously drafted superstar Luka Doncic only to trade him to the Mavericks, believing that Young was their man. Young has turned into a great player in his own right, but he’s not Doncic. The Hawks later traded for Murray and mortgaged their future in the deal.
If Young wants out then it could affect their ability to build. After all, if Young forces his way out after this season, Murray will likely soon follow since he’ll be a free agent in 2024 and was recruited to Atlanta by Young. On the plus side, Young could fetch more than it took to acquire Murray, helping replenish the Hawks’ depleted draft cupboard.
That, of course, assumes that the Hawks give in to Young’s demands. They could take a page out of the Brooklyn Nets’ playbook with Kevin Durant and play hardball with Young. Young has 3 years remaining on his contract after this season, and the Hawks could command a huge haul for him. Otherwise, they are under no obligation to actually trade him.
Ultimately, there is still a lot of time between now and this summer, and the Hawks could still turn around their season. They are expected to be active near the trade deadline, and they could improve their team enough to go on a run and hopefully win while smoothing over the relationship with Young and his coach and teammates. However, if they can’t, then Young could demand a trade in the offseason.