Hawks star Trae Young came back to Atlanta a little earlier than he has in the past, a fact not lost on teammate Dejounte Murray. Yet there are still lingering sentiments that the Hawks star could want out if things go awry.
A new report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic on August 31 claims Young has been of interest to the Lakers for quite some time, something previous rumors had already uncovered. But he also suggested that Young remains a potential Lakers trade target (subscription required) pending how things turn out in Atlanta.
Young has spoken multiple times this offseason alone about wanting to bring a championship to Atlanta.
He’s even spoken of what he will do when – not if – the Hawks win a title.
The Hawks are 84-80 over the last two regular seasons.
Young led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 but they have been eliminated from the postseason in the first round in each of the last two years, which Young lamented.
“It’s tough when you’re declining, and when you go from the Conference Finals down,” said Young on the “From The Point by Trae Young” podcast on June 9. “But it’s so hard to get to that point.”
Among the many personnel changes the Hawks have made over the last several months, they also hired a new head coach, Quinn Snyder, who has the full support of Young and teammate Dejounte Murray.
“Bringing Quin in halfway [through the season], I think, is a game changer for us,” Young said on the debut episode of the ‘From The Point’ podcast on June 1. “Just from what he brings like his mental and just him being a real teacher….He teaches everybody. From the coaches to the players all day, and he’s always talking during practices.”
It helps when the stars are as locked in as Young and Murray are.
Signed at least through the 2025-26 season on a five-year, $215 million contract – there is a $48.9 million early termination option for the 2026-27 season. That does make Young a bit of a flight risk down the road.
The Lakers are also said to have held internal discussions about trading for Young, though they are also said to consider the idea a long shot.
Add to that the notion from Danny Leroux of The Athletic that Hawks general manager Landry Fields will have to offload (subscription required) another one of the Hawks’ bigger contracts by next season. Both center Clint Capela and forward De’Andre Hunter have been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, though nothing has come to fruition.
Hawks’ Trae Young does have connections to Los Angeles, Lakers
It’s not as though the idea of Young wanting to get to the Lakers is far-fetched – many stars have chosen the iconic franchise for their new chapters. Young owns a home in Los Angeles and is a Klutch Sports client
That is the same agency as Lakers stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James and is run by James’ friend, Rich Paul.
The Lakers have several contracts they could aggregate in a trade for Young.
But it takes two teams to make a deal. And neither Young nor the Hawks are showing signs of wanting to part ways despite the numerous rumors that have linked the two-time All-Star to other teams.