Trae Young And The Hawks Will Have ‘Real Conversations’ About His Future If He Doesn’t Feel Like They’re Constructing A Winner

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The Atlanta Hawks did not expect to leave with the No. 1 overall pick when they arrived at Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery, but after the ping pong balls bounced just right, they emerged with an awful lot more to think about as a franchise this summer.

Atlanta was already expected to be among the league’s most active teams in trade discussions this offseason, as it has become clear the Trae Young and Dejounte Murray backcourt pairing has run its course. With De’Andre Hunter a trade rumor staple as well, the Hawks were expected to shop around the league to figure out what direction they want to go in — with Jalen Johnson as the firmest cornerstone piece on the roster. Murray was shopped continuously going into last season and at the deadline, but the Hawks kept him on the team and he thrived with Young out with an injury down the stretch.

That brought Young’s future with the team into question, with rumblings beginning in the second half of the year that he might be available as well. With Atlanta landing the No. 1 overall pick, that only furthered those rumors, with Shams Charania noting on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back that Young would be in conversation with the Hawks over the coming weeks and, if he feels they’re not looking to build an immediate contender, he could ask for a change of scenery.

“If Trae Young doesn’t feel like the Hawks are constructing a winner, a team that really has a chance in the Eastern Conference. You see teams like New York, Indiana making runs to the conference finals, Trae Young surely feels like he and the Hawks should be in that position. They’re going to have real conversations if he believes they are not trying to construct a real winner around him. And that dialogue, those talks are going to happen this week at the Combine, next week, and the weeks to come before the NBA Draft. Clearly that pairing between Trae Young and Dejounte Murray has not worked. They’ve already looked into moving Dejounte Murray, they kept him at the trade deadline. Which guard do they end up looking down that path? I think that’s going to be the big question for the Hawks leading up to the Draft.”

All of this sets up for a fascinating offseason in Atlanta, as they certainly have the opportunity to hit the reset button now that they have the top overall pick in the Draft — even if it lacks clear star power at the top. While Young is only 25, he’s seen plenty of his contemporaries become cornerstones of perennial playoff contenders. He made one run to the conference finals but has had to try and emerge from the Play-In each of the last three years. If the Hawks think their best bet as a franchise is to reset their clock around Johnson and the No. 1 pick, it could be Young, not Murray, that gets shopped around as a very intriguing player on the trade market.

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