Where there’s smoke there is usually fire, perhaps just not for the Atlanta Hawks.
Much of the Trae Young trade speculation came from sentiments from ownership about empowering the front office. But a recent report that the Los Angeles Lakers had internal discussions about what a trade package for Young would look like has stirred the pot quite a bit.
Young also made an appearance at a pair of Western Conference Finals games in L.A. where he has a residence, and still that all likely means very little.
“From what I’ve heard, there’s nothing brewing with Trae Young and the Hawks,” Bleacher Report NBA insider Chris Haynes said on the ‘#thisleague UNCUT’ podcast on May 24. “There hasn’t been any meeting or anything like that to request a trade. Nothing like that has happened with Trae. Nothing.”
As counterintuitive as that is to the murmurs, it fits the messaging from the Hawks and Young
That is not the first promo tweet from the Hawks’ social media team featuring Young this offseason. They also dropped one showing Young in the gym right after word broke that the Lakers had held the aforementioned discussions.
And Young has expressed his desire to bring a title to Atlanta on numerous occasions and offered high praise for what the Hawks are building under new head coach Quin Snyder.
Atlanta went 10-11 under Snyder but won four of their final six regular-season contests.
“I mean we know what the season’s going to be like next year,” Young said via the Hawks’ YouTube channel on April 28. We know what to expect and how we’re going to play with each other. And really getting a full summer with Quinn is going to…help us even more to…And we’ll be able to implement some things going into next year too.”
That fits right in with Haynes’ underlying point on the matter that, while a Young trade has been popular in the rumor mill of late, there doesn’t appear to be anything brewing on either side, especially from the Hawks.
Haynes did suggest that NBA players have been known to pop out at games to do exactly what happened here — stir the pot.
“I think there’s to be made out of Kyrie being present than Trae Young right now,” Haynes said.
Atlanta Hawks projected to land 2023 NBA Draft’s youngest player
South Carolina forward Gregory “GG” Jackson is the youngest player in the 2023 NBA Draft class – he won’t turn 19 until just over a week before Christmas.
The 6-foot-8, 211-pound freshman averaged 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds last season, though his efficiency (38.4% FG, 32.4% 3P) left plenty to be desired.
“Jackson could get the developmental time he needs behind John Collins and Jalen Johnson in Atlanta,” wrote Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report on May 24. “If the Hawks ace Jackson’s development, they could one day have an athletic scorer and plus defender.”
Atlanta holds the No. 15 overall pick in the draft which will take place on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
They have had a string of luck over the last two draft cycles with projected lottery picks falling to them just outside of that range, first with Jalen Johnson dropping all the way to No. 20 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. And, then, this past season AJ Griffin fell to No. 16 after being projected to go as high as a top-10 pick.
Both players look to have bright futures in this league.
The Hawks would, as Buckley notes, have a glut of forwards – and Johnson is still early in his development – while also having fourth-year big man Onyeka Okongwu waiting in the wings behind starter Clint Capela.