Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks came into the 2023-24 NBA season hoping to take a notable step forward.
When the front office hired Quin Snyder late last year, the idea behind the move was that bringing in a proven winner to lead the franchise would maximize Trae Young and Dejounte Murray’s unique skillsets.
So far – that hasn’t happened.
Not only are the Hawks struggling badly this season, but Murray is already on the trade block. Two teams are viewed as frontrunners for his services.
That said, Murray isn’t the only member of the organization who could be on the move.
As noted by John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Hawks are rapidly approaching a point where some tough decisions need to be made.
“Young represents both the best and worst of the Hawks’ plight, virtually guaranteeing an elite offense and entertaining games while also locking them into subpar defense and soaking up a max salary,” he wrote.
“How to maximize what’s around him remains the vexing question. We’ve heard names like Bogdan Bogdanović, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter and Murray mentioned in various outlets as potential trade pieces, and indeed, doing anything impactful will all but certainly involve one or more of those four.
“The more tantalizing question for trade watchers: If the Hawks keep spiraling, could Young be on the market too?”
Earlier this year reports surfaced that Atlanta would consider moving on from Young if the right deal came along. The Los Angeles Lakers emerged as a frontrunner for his services, for obvious reasons.
As noted by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, a win-win deal could be constructed fairly easily that would land Young with the purple and gold.
“Trae Young, Bruno Fernando and Wesley Matthews for D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince Jalen Hood-Schifino and a 2029 first-rounder,” he wrote.
“Young waives his trade bonus to join the Lakers. LA waits until closer to the end of December to sign a 14th player at the vet min.”
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— Game 7 (@game7__) December 28, 2023
Darvin Ham’s decision to bench D’Angelo Russell signifies that Los Angeles still hasn’t solved its point guard woes. Young would fix things to some degree. The question is just whether the Lakers are willing to pay the hefty toll that the 25-year-old requires salary-wise.
That said, given that Ham is already on the hot seat and has two potential replacements nipping at his heels, it feels like there is a certain degree of desperation in Los Angeles that may push this move forward.
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— Game 7 (@game7__) December 28, 2023
The Chicago Bulls are another squad to watch when it comes to Young.
Despite an underwhelming 2023 campaign, the front office seems reluctant to completely blow this roster up. Zach LaVine has expressed interest in being moved to one of four teams. Getting fair value for a player of his magnitude would be difficult – but Young could present a rare win-win scenario for all sides.
Finally, don’t sleep on the Brooklyn Nets. There is a reason this organization has consistently been linked to the likes of Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell over the past few months.
They want a star in the backcourt.
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— Game 7 (@game7__) December 26, 2023
Young would certainly fit the bill.
Atlanta is currently 12-18 after 30 games and going nowhere fast this year. A shake-up is necessary.
Will the Hawks ultimately decide to trade Young in 2024? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.