Wild proposed blockbuster trade moves Atlanta Hawks’ $215M star

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The NBA can be a wild place all season but particularly before the trade deadline. Pundits are still holding fast to preseason prognostications while front offices have already been evaluating whether or not they need to make that next move to bolster their respective rosters. There is more smoke and mirrors than a magic show especially closer to the deadline.

We have seen Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins mired in trade rumors for a couple of years.

But we have never seen Trae Young’s name mentioned in the same light. That’s because Young, who led the NBA in total points and total assists last season while earning his second All–NBA nod had seemingly proven himself.

But what if he has proven himself to be a net negative, something that may have been highlighted by the addition of a new teammate?

Trae Young would go to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant in impossible trade scenario

“Because you got Dejounte [Murray] now,” said Morten Jensen on “The NBA Podcast”, if you could sort of finagle a trade package that was centered around Trae for KD, that would be interesting rog the Hawks assuming, of course, they are fully committed into the win-now process.”

Jensen went on to explain the obvious perils of giving up on a 24-year-old phenom such as Young for the more battle-tested (see: 34-year-old) Kevin Durant.

Not the least of which is the drama that has highlighted his every stop.

It punctuated his exit from the Golden State Warriors – with whom he won back-to-back championships – and this past offseason when rattled faith in the direction of the organization prompted a trade request.

Things did get interesting between the Hawks and the Nets this summer when the former made an obligatory offer for the disgruntled superstar that evidently went nowhere. More recently, Ian Begley of SportsNetwork New York reported that the Nets had “touched base” with the Hawks regarding their maligned forward in Collins.

Nothing has gotten far on either front and this deal most likely won’t either. Not just because the Hawks are unlikely to move off Young for an aging (and often injured) Durant, even with Murray in tow.

But also because they cannot be traded for one another, at least not directly.

The reason is also an interesting one – Ben Simmons. Because the Nets acquired Simmons (who is on a max contract) via trade, they are unable to acquire another max player in the same way.

Young, of course, is in the first year of a five-year, $215 million deal that seemingly cements his place as the Hawks’ cornerstone. But Jensen believes that they should at least be open to the idea that it could behoove them to move a player whose style has led to some very polarizing discussions.

“I don’t think Trae is ever going to be the guy who takes you to a championship. I think he needs to be…a No. 2 option.”

Jensen’s co-host, Bryan Toporek, pointed out that Young led the Hawks to within two games of the NBA Finals just two seasons ago before countering himself by adding that neither of the two teams they faced in those first couple of rounds was prepared to defend the but have adjusted.

The Hawks are 3-8 in their last 11 playoff games.

They traded for Murray to help alleviate the pressure on Young, not to replace him. It’s not like it has gone well when he’s tried this season.

Atlanta is being outscored by 3.8 points per 100 possessions with Young on the floor without Murray, per Cleaning The Glass. They are being outscored by 8.5 points per 100 possessions when Murray is on and Young is off. Of course, those minutes would also include Durant in this unlikely hypothetical scenario.

There are many changes that could still be made to this team but this is not one of them.

Next. Hawks considered potential landing spot for former top-10 pick. dark

The Hawks could work out a package of Collins, Onyeka Okongwu, and Justin Holiday. But their earlier offer was arguably better and still got rejected.