Despite a lack of high-profile trades or free agent signings thus far, the Atlanta Hawks are still finding ways to insert themselves in the headlines this offseason.
The most recent social media stir occurred on Thursday when star point guard Trae Young, speaking to his followers on Instagram Live, alluded to some apparent “big news” dropping this weekend.
What the two-time All-Star could possibly mean with this reference is entirely up for debate at this point, and it’s more likely than not that Young wanted to be cryptic and mysterious with his wording so that (over?)reactions such as this are generated, even if no real news, or at least news pertaining to the Atlanta Hawks, is actually coming out this weekend.
Still, in a landscape where athletes and their fans can engage with one another like never before, it’s also entirely possible that there is indeed something on the horizon for Atlanta.
Young could have been referencing any number of things
Atlanta Hawks fans have been clamoring for a roster shakeup for a long while now, dating back to the team’s pathetic first-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat in the 2022 season and reignited by the team’s mediocre performance in the 2022-23 season, accompanied by yet another first-round exit, this time courtesy of the Boston Celtics.
Last week, Atlanta finally did something by trading away their biggest problem in power forward John Collins in what was essentially a salary dump/addition-by-subtraction move that netted the team what’s left of Rudy Gay and future draft compensation.
However, if that’s all of the big swings that Landry Fields and company make for this entire offseason, it would certainly be a letdown.
Atlanta’s roster, while at least marginally steered in the right direction by Collins’ exit, is still far from being ready to contend. The Young and Dejounte Murray pairing still needs a whole lot of ironing out, and the unreliability of De’Andre Hunter and the ever-stiff hands of Clint Capela are still good for the not-so-infrequent headache.
One trade that has been proposed by several outlets would center around the Hawks trading for Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam, who would automatically become Atlanta’s most versatile player and would, in theory, serve as a great complementary piece to Young’s wizardry.
However, the price to get Siakam might be more than Atlanta would be willing to part with, as it would likely include at least one or two of Atlanta’s promising young guns (AJ Griffin, Onyeka Okongwu, and Jalen Johnson) in addition to a more hefty salary and perhaps draft compensation.
There are also still some free agents available that Atlanta would benefit from considering, including a pair of Charlotte Hornets in Kelly Oubre and PJ Washington, both of whom would increase Atlanta’s wing depth and align with head coach Quin Snyder’s vision to take a whole lot more threes than were attempted a year ago.
Another possibility that Young may have been referring to is an impending contract extension for Murray, which would come in at around 4 years, $111 million if completed this offseason. However, the more likely scenario is that Murray waits until next summer to renegotiate, when he will be eligible for a lot more money.
Or maybe Young simply just wanted to stir the pot. NBA players have made a habit of tweeting cryptic and ominous messages just to have a little fun and get the fans riled up, and Young’s statement may have fallen right into that category.
Or perhaps he does have some big news to announce that has nothing to do with the Hawks or basketball at all. After all, the NBA is just his profession, not the entirety of his life.
In any case, let the countdown begin.