Is It Time For Hawks To Trade Trae Young?

When it comes to Trae Young, let’s remember this — the Atlanta Hawks were a series away from the NBA Finals three years ago.Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks, NBA

But the Hawks lost to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in those Eastern Conference Finals.

So Young has been a winner. But the Hawks sure haven’t been lately, the latest example coming in Wednesday’s play-in loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Atlanta ended the season with seven straight losses. Young will undoubtedly be pursued this offseason, with the Los Angeles Lakers (of course) and San Antonio Spurs said to be highly interested.

If Young does indeed become available, then plenty of others will join in. But maybe only a few, too.

“Many sources around the NBA believe Young will be on the move this summer — assuming Atlanta can find a buyer,” wrote Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “Not every team needs a point guard, let alone a small one (6-foot-1, 164 pounds) at $43 million next season. Several just don’t like his game.”

For the record, a source told Hoops Wire that the Lakers view Young as a third star who can help them push for a championship alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But is Young really a “third” star? He’s still No. 1 in Atlanta, with Dejounte Murray the 1A.

And the Hawks spent the majority of the season listening to offers for Murray before deciding to stick it out. Coach Quin Snyder, who has a lot of say, has made it obvious he’d like to keep both Young and Murray.

But the Hawks are spinning their wheels as currently constructed.

Offensively, there’s no questioning Young’s game. He remains one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. 

During the regular season, Young averaged 25.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 10.8 assists this season, shooting 43.0% from the field, 37.3% on 3-pointers and 85.5% from the free-throw line. He recorded 37 double-doubles in 54 games. 

But the Hawks were every bit as good in the games he missed (12-11 overall) as the games in which he played (24-35). But there are questions about his defense, or lack thereof, and mostly, the fit alongside Murray.

“Young wants to run spread pick-and-roll every time down the floor,” wrote Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. “His priorities, in order, are to get a layup, get fouled, get a clean floater, get a clean 3-pointer, throw a clean lob or kick it out to an open shooter. This is antithetical to Murray’s desire to dribble too much and settle for contested mid-range jumpers. The partnership might be able to survive a “your turn, my turn” compromise if either were consistent shooters off the catch or eager movers off of the ball. Neither have been.”

Personally, I think the Hawks should keep both Murray and Young and make the rest of the roster available. A third piece could help the Hawks go places. A package of De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic may not garner you a star, but a player who fits. Who that player may be … I have no idea.

Or maybe it is time to deal young, keep most others, and land some really nice pieces in return. Then you build around Murray, the new guy (or guys), and see if you can build on the .500 record this past season when Young was on the sidelines.

Either way, the Hawks have a major decision to make this offseason, and it may mean moving the face of the franchise. Some will tell you it’s time.

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  1. I saw a story on the internet (cannot remember the outlet) that wrote Spurs will take a hard look at Garland’s availability. I am not sure what assets they have unless it was a three way that would allow us to add a 1st round pick in with a player or two to find a viable scoring SF or SG to play alongside Donovan if it would convince him to extend. We’ll see what happens in the playoffs this year, but I think Garland’s time is coming to an end if it means keeping Donovan.

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