Two seasons ago the Atlanta Hawks made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, which set the bar high within the organization. They followed it up with a letdown of a season where the Hawks finished ninth, fought their way through the play-in only to get crushed by the Miami Heat in the first round. That sparked the bold move of bringing in Dejounte Murray to pair with Trae Young in the backcourt, but the end result of that has been the Hawks back in the play-in as the No.8 seed (and facing the Heat again). Along the way this season, the Hawks shook up the front office and moved out GM Travis Schlenk and then fired coach Nate McMillan. Nothing has quite worked.
Hawks ownership trusts the new front office led by GM Landry Fields and new coach Quin Snyder, and has given the green light for more shakeups, including the biggest one possible — trading Trae Young. From Kevin O’Conner at The Ringer.
With the offseason approaching, league sources say the Hawks’ front office has the green light from ownership to do whatever it wants to with the roster, which includes considering trade opportunities involving All-Star point guard Trae Young.
In March, Hawks owner Tony Ressler told The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz he’s neither opening nor closing the door on any players being moved. Months earlier, Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported on escalating tensions between Young and former head coach Nate McMillan, leading to team meetings and questions about Young’s leadership. Players reportedly sided with the coach over their star player. Things got so ugly that TNT’s Chris Haynes reported that Young could request a trade this summer if the Hawks fail to make “inroads’’ in the playoffs
His teammates not backing Young up is not a surprise, Young is not popular among fellow players. If you’re looking for evidence of what other players think about Young, know that they voted him 12th among East guards in this year’s All-Star voting (the fans had him fifth, the media sixth, for comparison). He’s seen as a stat chaser, not seen as someone who plays well with others nor someone who works hard off the ball or on defense. All of which raises questions about his fit in the up-tempo, motion-based offense Snyder runs.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 8, 2023
Young responded to the rumors, via Joe Varden at The Athletic.
“It could be false, could be true, you never know,” Young said following the Hawks’ shootaround in Miami.
The Hawks are going to watch Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The franchise is going to “closely monitor Trae Young’s day-to-day commitments and his habits on a day-to-day basis on the floor and off the floor.”
Ultimately, the best move for Atlanta may end up being keeping Young. What Atlanta could get back for him in a trade is up for debate. Despite his unquestioned and elite scoring talent — 26.2 points and 10.2 assists a game this season — there are limits to his value, partly because he has four years and $178.1 million left on his max contract. Teams will have their own fit concerns. Even for an All-Star and All-NBA player, the market may not be as robust as Atlanta hopes. Snyder may be better off getting Young to buy into more off-the-ball movement and playing off Murray rather than next to him (as happened this season).
That said, expect the Hawks to explore the market, maybe something will come together. Either way, expect the Trae Young rumors to fly around during the draft and into the summer.