While this offseason has been a continuation of the 2022-23 season for the Hawks, who changed coaches and front office power structures during the year, the resounding message coming from those within the organization has been one of optimism. When a star player makes a comment, though, it can take on a life of its own.
And, when that message comes via social media with no previous or further context, the entire process happens at breakneck speed which seems to be the case for Young.
“Business is business,” Young tweeted on August 14 sparking a slew of reactions ranging from fans worried he was about to demand a trade to others who suggested the Hawks were looking to capitalize on the latest rumblings out of Philadelphia with the 76ers.
Philly’s handling of James Harden’s situation led to the idea that the Hawks could capitalize being broached in the comments under Young’s tweet.
Harden forced a trade to Philadelphia ahead of the 2021-22 trade deadline but has since soured on his latest hand-picked destination as well. He was rumored to be heading to the Houston Rockets but that never materialized leaving the former MVP in limbo, albeit still with Philadelphia.
Other fans couldn’t help but wonder if this was something to do with Young’s situation.
Young is heading into the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract that keeps him under “team control” through the 2025-26 season – there is an early termination option for the 2026-27 campaign.
There was speculation that he could be the next star to demand a trade earlier this offseason which was followed by speculation that the Hawks were looking to trade him.
Young has only spoken highly of playing with Dejounte Murray and for Quin Snyder.
A more rational potential explanation for Hawks star Trae Young’s tweet
The tweet could have a much less ominous meaning. It could simply be a reference to the album by that name from recording artist and Atlanta-native, Young Thug, which dropped in June of this year.
Many fans in the comments came to this conclusion, underscoring the wide range of responses Young’s tweet elicited.
The back-to-back total assists leader in the NBA, Young would boost many teams’ title hopes.
To this point, however, he has consistently said that he wants to do that in Atlanta, going so far as to challenge former NBA star Gilbert Arenas’ assertion that it cannot happen with the Hawks, not because of Young, but because of ownership’s unwillingness to spend. Their long-rumored pursuit of Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam challenges that assertion as well.
Until Young’s tune changes, his situation should be presumed unchanged as well. He has made a concerted effort to control his messaging and, so far, that messaging includes the Hawks.