For the second year in a row, the Hawks are entering the play-in tournament. Last year, they made the playoffs. This year, they’ll have to start by beating the Heat in Miami.
If it doesn’t work out, it’s safe to assume more changes may be on the way. So far this season they already replaced former GM Travis Schlenk with current GM Landy Fields, and former coach Nate McMillan with Quin Snyder.
How about trading star guard Trae Young?
It sounds outlandish, but according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Hawks’ front office has the green light to explore “trade opportunities” centered on Young, should it deem it a necessary move.
Per O’Connor, sources say Snyder has the final say over all roster moves, something he insisted upon when hired in February.
Snyder, coupled with the new front office, could potentially want to reshape the team in their own vision. That’s not uncommon in sports. And how far have the Hawks truly gotten with Young as the face of the franchise?
Well, two years ago, they made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals. So it’s not been all bad with Young as the focal point.
But after making a trade for fellow guard Dejounte Murray, the Hawks likely expected bigger and better things this season. Instead, they’re right back where they were last year.
And as O’Connor noted, about the only thing they haven’t changed is Young.
Without question, much of what they decide to do with Young this offseason will depend on what happens in the play-in tournament and playoffs. But let’s just say expectations aren’t real high.
So could Young be available this summer? From the sounds of things, it’s not an impossibility.
Young, 24, averaged 26.2 points and a career-high 10.2 assists in 73 games, shooting 43 percent from the field and 34 percent on 3-pointers.