A trio of Atlanta Hawks stars showed up and showed out at former NBA player Jamal Crawford’s summer pro-am, “The CrawsOver”. The contingent made up of John Collins, Dejounte Murray, and Trae Young have been in the news for different reasons the entire offseason.
Collins has been the subject of endless trade speculation dating back to last year.
Meanwhile, the fit between Murray and Young has been scrutinized almost as intensely as the deal that brought the former to Atlanta in league circles.
This won’t count for anything and we are still over a month away from training camps opening up. But Young, feeding off of the energy from his performance with his teammates new and old, shared a strong message to Hawks Nation.
Atlanta Hawks fans get strong message from Trae Young after “The CrawsOver”
Collins, Murray, and Young all put up solid numbers in the exhibition. The high-flying Collins finished with 27 points and 17 rebounds. He also connected with Murray for the pair’s first (but certainly not the last) successful lob. But even more spectacular was the double-lob between all three players.
Murray had 39 points to lead the Hawks’ Big Three, called the “Dream Team” in the event, while hauling in nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
He also found himself on the receiving end of a Young lob.
Young came away with what has become a typical stat line for him even in an NBA game with 37 points and 13 assists.
But, in the end, it was Young’s message to Hawks fans and the rest of the NBA that this was not just for show in the summer that will have the longest-lasting impact.
He wasn’t done, expressing his feelings about taking the floor with Collins and Murray as well as showing gratitude to Crawford, a former Hawks player himself.
“Man !! Ain’t nothin like just being with yo Brothas & just Hoopin! 1st of many…Much Love Seattle Thank You @JCrossover! You know what it is Legend”
This is another in a string of strong signals that the group we see now is the group we are going to get when the season arrives barring some unforeseen opportunity. Many have been anticipating a Collins trade, some even urging the Hawks to make one.
But all of the figures that matter have been less bullish on the idea from Young to head coach Nate McMillan.
General manager Landry Fields called the idea that the Hawks had to move Collins “absurd”.
He did not guarantee Collins would be on the roster – few GMs would say such and it would be about a small group of players. But he could have said a lot less if the front office was looking to make a deal.
Murray and Young showed a strong connection on Sunday. But the questions of how they fit together will not go away until they start winning games and, hopefully, playoff series.
Interestingly, that same thing would likely end the trade rumors surrounding Collins.
When viewed that way, the fact that the bond between the three is what it appears to be is even more impressive.