Hawks: Insider intel sheds potential light on Trae Young's offseason switch

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young made a big decision and one insider's insight into a rival squad could shed light on the situation.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young will be one of the most-watched players in the league this offseason. Despite the guard’s insistence that he wants to be in Atlanta, speculation is mounting that one of him or Dejounte Murray – possibly both – will be elsewhere next season.

Young recently changed from Klutch Sports Group to Creative Artists Agency (CAA). 

CAA and Klutch are rivals. And in his reporting on the situation around the Los Angeles Lakers, The Athletic’s Sam Amick revealed a key detail that may shed further light on Young’s decision.

“Now, ever since the Russell Westbrook trade didn't work, LeBron [James] has lost juice in Laker Land,” Amick said on “The Rich Eisen Show” on May 17. “He just has. They have not listened to him as much, and it's funny because the narrative and the idea that Klutch Sports runs the Lakers just couldn't be farther from the truth. A lot of times, most times they are told no.”

James was in favor of the Lakers trading for Young ahead of the deadline in February.

James is a Klutch client and friends with CEO Rich Paul. Young owns a residence in LA and created a stir when he showed up at a Lakers playoff game last season.

“Trae Young is a guy that honestly has been tied to them a lot,” Amick said. “And I think there's a divided room within the Lakers on whether or not Trae would help them. It does seem like there is some favor coming from the Klutch side for a possible Trae pairing, and he is also a Klutch client.”

But Young it not a Klutch client anymore and it's unclear how that would impact a trade to the Lakers.

“When I say it, I really mean it,” Young posted on X on May 7 along with a graphic denoting the move. “Another Day, Another Opportunity”

Young has three years and $138 million left on his five-year, $215.1 million contract. But he can opt out of the final year in 2026-27, potentially putting the Hawks on a deadline.

He has pushed back against the idea that he cannot win in Atlanta, and seems willing to put pressure on the front office to achieve that goal. He was influential in bringing Dejounte Murray to Atlanta, which played a key part in the departure of former team president Travis Schlenk.

Young also said he is ready to win and that it’s up to the front office to decide if they are too.

Don’t break up the Hawks’ backcourt just yet

“Everybody knows, obviously, I want to be in Atlanta,” Young said on the “From The Point” podcast on April 30. “But at the same time, I want to win. So if we’re not on the same page wanting to win now…

“There’s times teams want to take their time, be slow with winning, their process. It’s just, I’m not there anymore. I want to win, and I’ve always been that way, so. I don’t feel like I have very much time to waste. I just want to continue to play at a high level, and I feel like I can do that: play at a high level and win.”

Young’s trade value is dependent on several outside factors. But that assumes that Hawks general manager Landry Fields feels it’s time to give up on a pairing they’re invested so heavily in.

In addition to the trade cost, Murray will begin his four-year, $114 million contract next season.

“Sample size is getting larger,” Fields told reporters on February 9. “I can't lie to you. The numbers speak for themselves on that. But we're also interested in, well let's say they're on the court together and it's – based off the numbers – it's not working out well. Why is that?

“What are things that we can do for them in a development aspect to make it look more like the on-off lineups that [look good]? And, ultimately then, that lays something that is measurable. Those are things now, from a development standpoint, that you can look at and say, ‘Okay, Can you progress in these areas?’”

It sounds like Fields is at least open to trying to make the Murray-Young pairing work if possible.