Hawks’ Trae Young Could Make Return vs. Hornets

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young is closing in on a return from finger surgery and could play in Wednesday’s home game vs. the Charlotte Hornets, per NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks, NBA

Young underwent surgery on his finger on Feb. 27 and was cleared for practice this past Monday. So even if he doesn’t play vs. the Hornets he will almost certainly be back before the postseason.

The Hawks will face the Chicago Bulls in the 9-10 play-in tournament game. They will need to win two play-in games in a row to make the 2024 playoffs as the eighth seed. 

Before getting hurt, Young was averaging 26.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 10.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.2 blocks on the season while shooting 42.6% from the field, 37.1% from beyond the arc and 85.6% from the free-throw line. He had 35 double-doubles in 51 starts.

One of the top scorers and passers in the NBA, Young signed a five-year, $215 million extension with the Hawks in August 2021. He’ll make $43 million next season and $45 million in 2025-26.

Young, 25, holds career averages of 25.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks.

Atlanta reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, where the team lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. Since then, the Hawks haven’t made it out of the first round of the playoffs. 

Some people around the NBA believe Young and Dejounte Murray have a bad relationship. However, Young and Murray said on Young’s podcast, “From The Point,” that they have a great relationship. 

Young and Murray have the same agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group. The Hawks are 55-60 when Murray and Young are in the lineup. 

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Hawks “know” they have to trade Young or Murray this summer. Both All-Stars are “point guards” and need the ball in their hands a lot. 

The Los Angeles Lakers came close to acquiring Murray this season. However, a deal didn’t happen because the Hawks wanted Austin Reaves and the Lakers were not interested in parting ways with the rising star. 

The Lakers are expected to try to acquire Murray again this offseason. They will also pursue a Young trade, league sources told Hoops Wire. 

Ashish Mathur contributed to this report.

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