1 Dream, 1 nightmare, and 1 realistic Hawks Trae Young trade after the draft

With the direction of the Atlanta Hawks still unclear, here are three ways trade speculation around Trae Young could play out.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Hawks have built a team that at least on paper seems to fit Trae Young’s skillset better than last season.

However, what remains unclear is what other moves could be coming. Young has three years and $138 million left on his five-year, $215.1 million contract and a $46 million player option for the final season in 2026-27. The Hawks are not expected to trade both star guards.

Still, speculation remains about Young’s future with the Hawks getting younger this offseason.

“No discussion of Atlanta’s plight is complete without discussing the nuclear option: Trading Young to San Antonio and getting those picks back,” The Athltic’s John Hollinger wrote on June 28. “San Antonio is the only plausible trade partner for such a move, given that the Spurs currently own three straight Hawks drafts.”

Hollinger offers the basis for a potential package, the could ultimately help the Hawks pull the trigger on such a monumental deal.

Hawks dream trade scenario regains full control of draft future

The former Memphis Grizzlies executive suggested a Spurs package of Devonte Graham, Tre Jones, and Zach Collins. He did not specify which picks the Spurs would send back. They control the Hawks’ first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 outright.

The Spurs also have swap rights for the pick in 2026. The dream would be to get ‘25 and ‘27.

Trae to Spurs

This package would be a dream because the Hawks would gain near-full control of their ability to lean into a rebuild.

As it stands, they cannot be intentionally bad until 2028, if they chose that route. Hollinger points to the Brooklyn Nets’ strategy of this offseason, sending out Mikal Bridges to the New York Knicks and then making a subsequent deal with the Houston Rockets for their own picks back.

The Hawks would shave $4.5 million off their books in 2024-25.

They would also get closer to cap space with only Collins’ contract on the books beyond the 2024-25 season.

Therein lies the rub, though. Moving on from Young without a surefire replacement is a tricky proposition. Even with full control of their draft future, there is no guarantee any incoming prospect will pan out.

Still, the Hawks must have the “nuclear” option available in case Young wants out.

The Spurs have been one of the potential landing spots he is said to be interested in. But his stated preference has been to stay – and win – with the Hawks.