Hawks' decision on Trae Young 'should happen' in potentially pivotal offseason

One analyst believes the Atlanta Hawks' decision on Trae Young should lead to a blockbuster offseason trade.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

There is one storyline that trumps them all for the Atlanta Hawks.

Even after landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft, the Hawks’ decision on their star backcourt is a driving force in the discourse at this stage of the NBA calendar.

Things will only pick up as the playoffs wrap up, potentially paving the way for a pivotal offseason in Atlanta. It’s an offseason in which some believe the Hawks need to make that significant change to the backcourt.

ESPN’s Chris Herring lists a trade sending Trae Young to the Los Angeles Lakers as a deal that “should” take place this summer.

But only as a second domino behind possibly landing LA Clippers star Paul George.

“If Los Angeles loses [LeBron] James and replaces him with George, who's settled into handling the ball less, the Lakers would be wise to find someone who takes no issue with handling it more,” Herring wrote on May 28.

“Young, as someone who shared ballhandling responsibility with Dejounte Murray the past two seasons in Atlanta, fits that bill. His efficiency can wane; particularly from deep, but he's also a playmaker whose penetration would create easy looks for [Anthony] Davis, who would immediately become the best big Young has ever played with.”

This idea is unequivocally centered around helping the Lakers, with Herring noting the Young-to-Davis pick-and-rolls would be something to marvel at.

He does outline the principal parts of the deal from the Lakers’ side.

Proposed trade sends Trae Young to Lakers

The Lakers and Hawks discussed trade packages for Dejounte Murray, but those talks fell apart over compensation. Herring writes a package for Young would have to include some of the players rumored to be involved then, including Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

LA wanted to keep Reaves in talks for Murray, while the Hawks felt Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell was a poor fit alongside Young.

In Herring’s scenario, Russell must decline his second-year option and hit free agency.

That does leave a package of Hachimura, Reaves, and one of Gabe Vincent or Jarred Vanderbilt in a potential deal. The Hawks would still have Murray and drafted Kobe Bufkin with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, potentially making Vincent superfluous.

Hawks: AR/Rui/Vando/2029/2031 Lakers: Trae

Trae to LAL 5.28.24

Vanderbilt profiles as a better fit than Vincent in the hypothetical package with his defensive versatility a nice compliment for Reaves’ offense.

Hachimura is a solid rotational player who can come off the bench or start if needed.

Depending on how the draft capital in the deal shakes out, the Hawks could be positioned to compete in the interim and build toward a brighter future. Neither of the picks in the hypothetical package are down the road. But the Lakers could be in a similar situation by then.

Young has not pushed for a trade. His switch from Klutch Sports to CAA may have altered any potential desire he may have had of landing with the purple and gold in any case.

That is a monumental decision for General Manager Landry Fields to ponder this offseason.