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#pounditMonday, June 17, 2024

Hawks considering major decision with Trae Young?

Trae Young in his Hawks uniform

Dec 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks have a lot riding on this week’s play-in tournament, including perhaps the future of star player Trae Young.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Monday that the Hawks’ front office has the green light from ownership to do whatever it wants with the team’s roster. That even includes considering trade opportunities involving their multi-time All-Star guard Young, O’Connor adds.

The Hawks finished 41-41 this season and will need to survive the play-in stage to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs. That is a step down from last year where they went 43-39 and lost in the first round of the playoffs (though after also having fallen into the play-in tournament).

As for Young, he has banked some goodwill in the organization after leading the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. But at the same time, he has a reputation as a coach-killer — Atlanta fired coach Nate McMillan in February after an apparent in-season falling-out with Young. Questions also exist about Young’s feasibility as a long-term franchise centerpiece since he is a low-efficiency, ball-dominating guard who stinks on defense and relies heavily on foul-baiting in order to be successful.

Young’s trade value is still immense though since he is just 24 and is signed for a minimum of three more guaranteed seasons. But with the Hawks stuck in mediocrity right now and signs emerging that Young is wearing out his welcome in Atlanta, the front office just might be ready to blow it up.


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