The Atlanta Hawks currently have a 16-16 record while sitting in eighth place within the Eastern Conference. It has not been what the Hawks expected and drama with Trae Young continues to build within the locker room.
Let’s dive into the latest on Atlanta as it looks to improve its current record.
Trae Young reportedly could be the next NBA star player to request a trade
The situation with Young and the Hawks has been building ever since the shootaround before the game against the Denver Nuggets in early December. Now, it has begun to reach a nightmare level for Atlanta.
According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, rival executives around the NBA believe Young could be the next NBA superstar to request a trade if the Hawks do not make any inroads before the postseason.
The point guard is averaging 27.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 9.8 assists while shooting a career-low 41.1% from the field and 30.7% from the three-point line in 29 games during the 2022-’23 season.
Atlanta’s head coach Nate McMillan and Young had a confrontation during a shootaround on December 2 that caused the star player to stay home and not attend the game. This was due to Young wanting to receive treatment on his shoulder.
The 24-year-old guard’s leadership has been questioned within the organization and the situation could reach a boiling point if the Hawks do not reach the playoffs. It would be a drastic fall from success after making the Eastern Conference finals two seasons ago.
If Young does request a trade from the Hawks in the coming months or during the offseason, which teams would make sense for the young superstar?
Evaluating potential landing spots for Trae Young
There are a few teams that could make sense if Young were to request a trade. Ironically, the New York Knicks could be one of those teams, along with the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and an out-of-box team like the Orlando Magic.
The rivalry between Young and New York has been noted ever since he sent the Knicks home during the 2021 NBA playoffs. Would an alliance make Young thrive more than ever?
A duo of Young and R.J. Barrett would sound very appealing moving forward but would the Knicks be able to keep Barrett? The organization does have an incredible amount of draft picks to possibly make it feasible to keep him.
If not New York, the Bulls would make sense as they might blow up their team and the situation with Zach LaVine might become negative. A swap of Young and LaVine could be beneficial to both teams.
The Raptors could also make sense if they are willing to give up prized forward OG Anunoby. Toronto has the young talent to pair Young with Pascal Siakam but it comes down to whether it is willing to make it happen.
Finally, what about a team like the Magic? The organization has a future star with Paolo Banchero and could try to flip a very valuable pick that could lead to Victor Wembanyana and young players, such as Jalen Suggs.
The Magic could pair Young, Banchero, and Franz Wagner for an elite young core moving forward. It would be an out-of-the-box team but it does make sense if the Magic truly want to compete soon.
The situation between Atlanta and Young will be one to watch and it certainly has the eyes of other teams in the NBA.