Trae Young's trade comments put Hawks between a rock and a hard place

Trae Young
Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young will likely be one of the most sought-after players this summer and his latest comments only add to the speculation surrounding his future. The Hawks are reportedly open to moving their star, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, but his fate with the team is still very much up in the air.

Atlanta could change course and opt to move fellow star Dejounte Murray and rebuild around Young, but that is complicated by their lack of draft picks. They owe their 2025 and 2027 first-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs, as well as a 2026 pick swap.

Without control of their firsts for the next 3 years, and them stuck as a fringe playoff team, the Hawks may be wise to do a full teardown rather than try and retool around Young.

Trae Young's comments underscore the Atlanta Hawks' problems.

Young's comments, which reiterate that he wants to stay with the Hawks while also confirming that he wants to play for a winner, were likely meant to put speculation to rest. However, his comments illustrate Atlanta's problem. 

Both things may not be possible, with speculation that he could be moved to the Los Angeles Lakers or the San Antonio Spurs as a result. However, it's unclear how much the Hawks would ask for their best player and whether the Spurs would pony up that much or if the Lakers can scrounge up enough picks to make a deal happen.

Further complicating things is the fact that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell could be made available this summer. This comes after a report that he is uninterested in signing a contract extension. He might not be alone, however, with rumblings that Damian Lillard could also want out this summer.

That will put Atlanta in between a rock and a hard place since they can't afford to take back less for their best player. They also have no incentive to tank because they don't own their first-round pick next year, even in a star-studded draft headlined by Cooper Flagg.

All In all, Young's comments about wanting to stay in Atlanta but play for a winner may not be realistic. That may lead the Hawks to trade him, though with another all-star potentially available this summer, they may not be able to get as much as they hope.