NBA Trades: These 4 wannabe contenders should trade for Trae Young

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks – Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Trae Young Suitor #4: New Orleans Pelicans

This might be the boldest team on this list, but it’s a possibility that is at least worth considering for both teams. After drafting Young and Williamson highly, both the Hawks and Pelicans expected to become championship contenders. Instead, both have been mired in the play-in since the players were drafted.

So why not swap them? It would need to be a bit more complex due to the moving salaries, but the idea of trading Trae Young for Zion Williamson isn’t as crazy as it sounds at first. Williamson has looked like a certified star when he plays, but when is the operative term as he’s missed more than half of his games in the NBA to date.

Giving Zion a fresh start in Atlanta, where he’d still have a good team and point guard around him, could be New Orleans’ best move if they’re eager to surround their other star with complimentary talent. Brandon Ingram has come back from some early injuries with a cold scoring ferocity that bodes well for his prospects of being a team’s leading scorer:

The Pelicans have some great shooters and defenders alongside Ingram, which would form the foundation for Young to succeed as the team’s floor general. Young’s pull-up shooting and spicy passing would open up more opportunities for Ingram, Trey Murphy III, and Jonas Valanciunas, which is all New Orleans would need to jump up into the contending echelon of the west.

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It’s unlikely that this trade will happen, as both Atlanta and New Orleans would be cutting bait with their biggest stars in years, but if both teams want to change courses in a way that could benefit their futures, sending Trae Young to the Big Easy might be the easiest way to do so for all parties.