The report came from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.
“The Hawks have told opposing teams Atlanta is open to conversations about all of its roster outside of Trae Young,” Fischer wrote on June 16.
This news puts to bed what seems to have been a constant cycle of trade rumors regarding the star point guard, which first broke out right before the postseason started after a report from The Ringer insinuated that the Hawks could be open to dealing the 2018 draft class standout.
Young mostly put these reports on ice following a strong performance in the Hawks’ six-game first-round tilt against the Boston Celtics, taking the then-reigning Eastern Conference Champions to six games when most experts predicted a sweep.
However, the rumor mill was revamped following Young’s appearance at a Los Angeles Lakers second-round home game against the Golden State Warriors last month, accompanied by his agent Rich Paul. The appearance ignited a series of unfounded Young-to-Los Angeles hypothetical trades, most of which were comical in nature.
Young shot down those reports on his newly launched “From the Point” podcast last week, but that still didn’t stop fans of opposing fanbases from salivating at the thought of adding the two-time All-Star.
Now, however, the Atlanta Hawks’ fanbase can finally breathe a bit easier with the knowledge that the team will not even be entertaining, let alone partaking in, any deals surrounding the former Oklahoma Sooner.
Of course, the flip side of this report is that the rest of Atlanta’s roster will be on the table, seemingly including shooting guard Dejounte Murray, who was acquired from the San Antonio Spurs last offseason.
Murray’s first season in a Hawks uniform was a roller coaster, with he and Young putting up respectable stats but largely failing to establish any cohesion, give or take a few spurts, most notably a five-game winning streak in January that marked the high point of a season filled with more valleys than peaks.
Murray appeared to shoot down rumors invoking his name in a since-deleted tweet earlier this week, although this surely won’t stop other teams from checking in on the former All-Star’s availability.
Atlanta Hawks’ next most valuable asset after Dejounte Murray is debatable
On paper, it might appear to be small forward De’Andre Hunter, although one has to assume that his measurables and hypothetical ceiling are no longer enough to make teams interested after four years of inconsistent play from the former Virginia standout.
There are also the young guns, namely Onyeka Okongwu, AJ Griffin, and Jaylen Johnson–who had a solid showing in the series against Boston–who might find themselves necessary additions if Atlanta were to swing a trade for a big name this summer.
One would figure that Atlanta will at least entertain parting ways with either Okongwu or starting center Clint Capela this offseason, as they play the same position and could theoretically be moved for some value at a point of more need for Atlanta.
As for those needs, Atlanta’s deepest hole to fill this summer is their perimeter defense, which was thoroughly exposed by the Celtics’ gauntlet of versatile guards and forwards. As will always be the case with a Young-led roster, which Atlanta will now reportedly be for the foreseeable future, it is important to surround the point guard with as many long, athletic defenders as possible.
While Hunter and Murray might fit that bill on paper, the Celtics and other teams this season had no issues getting by them whenever they pleased.
All in all, Atlanta will have a lot to think about in the coming weeks and months. It’s refreshing that they can do that without feeling any pressure to get rid of the best thing to happen to their franchise this century.