Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young sends message after missing out on All-NBA honors

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

When all was said and done, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young received just one vote for All-NBA and it was for the third team. This is despite leading the NBA in total assists for the second year in a row. Young took to social media in the wake of the voting release and seemingly had a message for his detractors.

“‘They’ said I had ‘empty stats’,” Young tweeted on May 10 following it with a subsequent tweet. “Real ones get it.. We Move!”

The one-time All-NBA selection averaged 26.2 points, 10.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds while tying his career-high with 1.1 assists. Unfortunately for him, his efficiency fell sharply, particularly from beyond the arc where he shot 33.5% which is the second-lowest mark of his career.

Some might want to turn to the Hawks’ record (41-41), final standings in the Eastern Conference as the seven-seed, and swift dismissal from the postseason.

However, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander earned First-Team honors, and rightfully so after he finished fourth in the NBA in scoring. But the Thunder finished with a worse record and as a worse seed failing to even make the playoffs despite Gilgeous-Alexander’s best efforts all year, losing their second-round matchup.

A valid argument can be made that there were no expectations for the Thunder to be in that position in the first place. They were one of the teams expected to tank for a chance to snag French phenom Victor Wembenyama.

Instead, they were in contention for the postseason all the way through.

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Conversely, the Hawks traded for Dejounte Murray last offseason to avoid the exact kind of fate they ended up meeting – a second consecutive gentleman’s sweep.

Further to Young’s point, however, Luka Doncic earned a spot on the top team despite the Dallas Mavericks failing to make the postseason as did Damian Lillard whose Portland Trail Blazers hold the fifth-best odds –Dallas is 10th – at landing the top pick and, presumably, Wembanyama, per Tankathon.

If anything, this should only serve to further motivate Young. He was also omitted from the All-Star game for the second time in the last three years and was voted as the “most overrated” player by a small subsection of his NBA counterparts.

“My game can get a lot better, especially with [head coach Quinn Snyder],” Young said during his exit interview on April 28 via the Hawks’ YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of things that I can get better at…I’m excited for this summer. I mean Quinn’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my whole life. So just being able to have him, being able to listen to him, and be coached by him. It’s gonna be a fun summer and fun transition going into next year.”

Hawks’ Trae Young a ‘dream’ trade target for Rockets

“The Houston Rockets are hoping to make this their summer of splash,” wrote Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report on May 10. “Rather than focusing on finding a quick fix, the Rockets would be better off getting someone who could not only lead this nucleus, but grow with it. Why not Trae Young?”

Buckley cites a report from Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer that details the Rockets’ openness to the idea of shipping out talented former No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green to nab a star and accelerated their rebuild under new head coach Ime Udoka.

He also notes the front office has ownership’s blessing to do as they must with the roster.

A Young-for-Green direct swap certainly works financially since Houston is sitting on over $47 million in cap space this summer, per Spotrac.

Houston would have enough room for Young and the ability to package up some other contract – namely that of Kevin Porter Jr. – along with some of their bevy of draft picks received in the trade of James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets to nab another star.

Atlanta would either be signaling they are gearing up for another rebuild by trading for a 21-year-old which does not fit the hiring of Quin or the rhetoric of general manager Landry Fields. Green is uber-athletic but can struggle with efficiency and effort on defense. Or the Hawks would be signaling that they are turning the team over to Dejounte Murray which would be risky considering he is an unrestricted free agent after next season.

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Nothing from the Hawks suggests they are looking to move off Young at this juncture despite the Rockets’ potential interest.