Hawks' Trae Young sends message to Falcons' Michael Penix Jr.

The Atlanta Hawks are in the offseason but the city is already buzzing after the NFL draft and Trae Young weighed in.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

It’s the offseason for the Atlanta Hawks, much to their chagrin. But the NBA draft brought plenty of intrigue and excitement to the area, with the Falcons selecting Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick.

Hawks star Trae Young, immersed in the city’s goings on as he is, was tuned into the event and sent a message to his potential fellow face of the franchise.

Young also gave his brief assessment of the otherwise polarizing pick.

that boy cold though!” Young exclaimed, reacting with laughing emojis toa post suggesting even Penix was surprised to hear his name called. “Welcome to the A Killa!!!!”

Penix set numerous Huskies records in his two seasons, going to Washington after an injury-marred career at Indiana. He has seen his pre-draft stock rise tremendously since the season ended, going from a projected second-round pick to the No. 8 overall selection.

It’s a good thing Young welcomed him too.

A report from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini revealed that big-money free agent signing Kirk Cousins was “a bit stunned” by the decision to draft a quarterback.

Hawks facing offseason of speculation

The scene around the NFL leading up to the draft is very similar to what the Hawks will face over the next few weeks. Without any games to play, speculation will run rampant, much as it has the past few offseasons.

What makes this time so different is that there were expectations coming into this season, something that didn’t even exist leading up to their Eastern Conference Finals run in 2020-21. 

The Hawks traded for Dejounte Murray ahead of last season.

The hope was that pairing him with Young would alleviate some of the postseason concerns that popped up the year before. Instead, the Hawks regressed, leading to a coaching change amid several other roster moves.

They brought in Quin Snyder, a move that assistant Mike Breay says was the key to the plan for the next phase.

Again, though, the Hawks regressed.

They can point to injuries stunting any ability to get consistency through continuity. But they are not much different from many of their fellow NBA teams, and they certainly aren’t using that as an excuse.

This offseason promises to be eventful. But the speculation that will proceed it could reach a new level given the recent slew of rumors surrounding the Hawks already.

What they do could have a ripple effect across the rest of the league.

Teams will come after one or both of their star guards if they indeed are made available. Until then, trade winds will swirl despite both players’ insistence that they don’t pay attention to the outside chatter.