Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks are prepared to take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
However, there is seemingly some news coming from Atlanta leading up to the game. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on Monday that Hawks team ownership has given general manager Landry Fields permission to seek out a potential Young trade this summer.
On the surface, this makes no real sense. Young, 24, is seen as one of the most-talented youngsters in the game. He’s earned two All-Star appearances in five seasons and is averaging 25.5 points throughout his career.
At issue here are some perceived internal issues relating to Young the Hawks. It’s one of the reasons head coach Nate McMillan was fired during the regular season. Questions about leadership and immaturity have come up.
If Young is indeed placed on the trade block, there is not going to be a limited number of suitors for his services. The sharpshooting guard is a franchise cornerstone. On that note, the Hawks would also be receiving an absolutely massive haul for him. Below, we look at four ideal Trae Young trade scenarios from the Hawks.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets some help with the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Thunder get: Trae Young
- Hawks get: Josh Giddey, Jaylin Williams, Olivier Sarr, Isaiah Joe, 2 1st-round picks
One has to wonder whether the Thunder would even part with young wing Josh Giddey. He’s put up an historical start to his career with the Aussie tallying some absurd all-around numbers. This past regular season alone saw Giddey average 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
However, OKC front office head Sam Presti might not be able to pass up the opportunity to land a player of Young’s skill set to team up with Gilgeous-Alexander. We’re talking about a backcourt that could see both players average north of 30 points per game. Add in Chet Holmgren’s return from injury, and these Thunder would have the talent to compete out west.
As for Atlanta, it picks up a potential franchise cornerstone in Giddey to build around moving forward. Acquiring two future first-round picks and young forward Jaylin Williams would only be icing on the cake.
Houston Rockets expedite rebuild with Trae Young
- Rockets get: Trae Young
- Hawks get: Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, TyTy Washington, 3 1st-round picks
For Atlanta, this trade would be all about blowing it up and starting anew. That would begin with Houston’s first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft (should it not land at No. 1 overall in the lottery). Being able to land someone like guard Scoot Henderson would go a long way in expediting the rebuild. Atlanta could also either keep high-scoring guard Kevin Porter Jr. or flip him for more assets.
After the ousting of head coach Stephen Silas, the Rockets are prepared to move forward with an expedited plan of contention. General manager Rafael Stone has made that clear. Meanwhile, rumors continue to link the downtrodden organization to former Rockets star James Harden.
Just imagine this scenario. Houston uses its north of $62 million in cap room to bring in both Young and Harden. It would still be able to retain youngster Jabari Smith Jr. while going with a three-guard lineup that includes Jalen Green. Talk about turning around the franchise in one fell swoop.
Orlando Magic go big-game hunting
- Magic get: Trae Young
- Hawks get: Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, 1st-round pick
Orlando has talented young players. It just has not been able to put it together. Why not go out there and get a proven star to team up with stud young forward Paolo Banchero after the former No. 1 pick averaged 20 points per game as a rookie? The Magic need to become relevant on the broader NBA stage. Adding Young to the mix would do just that.
- Trae Young career stats: 25.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 9.3 APG, 44% shooting, 35% 3-point
Speaking of relevancy, acquiring Wagner would be a boon for Atlanta. He averaged 18.6 points on 49% shooting from the field as a sophomore. Wagner could be a franchise cornserstone. Though, the major component heading back to Atlanta would be Orlando’s first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Right now, it’s projected to be sixth overall.
Blockbuster Trae Young for Zion Williamson swap
- Pelicans get: Trae Young, Jalen Johnson
- Hawks get: Zion Williamson, Garrett Temple
With New Orleans set to take on Oklahoma City in the NBA Play-In Tournament, Williamson remains sidelined to injury. The generational talent and former No. 1 pick has played in all of 114 games in four NBA seasons.
The Pelicans have seen the combination of Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum lead them to contention. But they need to build up more talent in order to be taken seriously in the loaded Western Conference. Teaming Trae Young up with those two would be ideal, meaning the end of the often drama-filled Zion tenure in the Bayou.
From Atlanta’s perspective, it’s rather obvious. The team would bank on Williamson being able to overcome these early-career injuries and become a true franchise building block. Here’s a dude who is averaging 25.8 points and seven rebounds on 61% shooting throughout his career. He is absolutely dominant when actually on the court.