Grade the trade: Proposed 3-team blockbuster sees Hawks 'end failed experiment'

This proposed trade would see three teams work together for a summer blockbuster that reshapes the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Hawks have a chance to shake up a notable segment of the NBA this offseason. Their seemingly inevitable decision between Trae Young and Dejounte Murray is at the top of the Hawks’ priorities, and several other teams will also be monitoring the outcome.

While the Hawks haven’t made it clear they are breaking up the duo, that remains the most popular notion in league circles.  

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey suggested a three-team blockbuster trade proposal.

“For the Atlanta Hawks, this ends the ill-fated Young-Dejounte Murray backcourt, restores some of the future assets spent to acquire Murray and gives the team some depth on the wing with Keldon Johnson and Kenrich Williams,” Bailey wrote on May 13.

3-Team, Trae to Spurs

Proposed Hawks trade lands muscle, hustle, and draft capital

This would be a blockbuster decision for the Hawks. Young is the face of the franchise and a three-time All-Star. But they were 14-14 without him and 22-32 with him last season.

The return in any trade needs to provide just what this deal aims to. The Hawks would still need perimeter defense without Young, though his absence would help on its own. But losing him as an offensive engine could be even more detrimental. 

Their offensive efficiency differential dropped from the 76th percentile to the 62nd without him last season, per Cleaning The Glass.

Their defensive differential rose from the 12th percentile to the 37th.

Johnson, 24, averaged 15.7 points on 56.5% true shooting last season. He also had 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Notably, Johnson initially took over for Murray when the Spurs traded the latter ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is going into the second year of a four-year, $74 million contract that pays him $19 million in 2024-25.

Kenrich Williams doesn’t have the counting stats.

He averaged 4.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists last season for the Thunder. But “Kenny Hustle” shot 39.3% from beyond the arc, finished sixth in percentage of team defensive loose balls recovered among players with at least 65 appearances,

He also tied Hawks center Clint Capela with the eighth-most charges drawn per game among that same group.

Williams is entering Year 2 of a four-year, $27.1 million contract.

He is set to count $6.7 million against the salary cap, meaning the Hawks would shave north of $17 million off their bottom line. Additionally, they avoid the risk of Young opting out early after the 2025-26 season.

Johnson’s contract is locked in through 2026-27. Williams has a $7.2 million club option for that season, offering some flexibility.

Grade – C-: There isn’t enough star power (or shooting) to offset the loss of Young. This package makes more sense if the Hawks rebuild, not reset.