With all of the talk about the Atlanta Hawks exploring their trade options with Dejounte Murray, whom they acquired just last season at the behest of him and Trae Young, the team’s stance on the latter has flown under the radar.
Marc Stein of The Stein Line reported that both Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter are indeed expected to be back on the trade block ahead of the deadline (February 8).
He also noted that the “expectation” is for the team to “build around” the dynamic Young.
This likely comes as little surprise to fans given how much Young means to the Hawks’ success on a nightly basis. But as recently as this past offseason, there was speculation the history-making guard would be one of the next stars to be on the move.
The Hawks’ inability to get over the hump, and even regress following their run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21, has led some to suggest Young needs to get out of Atlanta.
Young has definitively pushed back against that idea, though.
The two-time All-Star is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract, not an easy amount to move during the season. But the Los Angeles Lakers were said to still have eyes for Young, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic in August.
He caused a stir by showing up to Game 6 between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors during the second round of last season’s playoffs.
Still, Young’s only stance has been bringing a championship to the city of Atlanta.
The Hawks star is averaging 28.3 points, 11.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game this season. He is also on a historic run of 30-point, 10-assist performances that once again puts him in the company of Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
Young and Murray both placed expectations on this season, though, and it’s not far-fetched to think their 12-17 record isn’t well off of those.
They have dealt with injuries.
Hawks get rising star back, list Trae Young as questionable
Jalen Johnson helped them go 7-5 in his 12 starts. The Hawks have struggled in various areas without him, as Young was quick to acknowledge after their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on December 23.
“He brings a lot to us,” Young said via the team after the loss to Memphis. “I saw his dad courtside and saw his family there tonight – I think they're all here for Christmas – and was telling his I'm ready for his son to be back and help us. And I know if Jaylen is ready to be back, and whether it's next game, or the game after, he's going to help us whenever he gets back.”
Johnson is set to return versus the Chicago Bulls. He is listed as questionable along with Young who is dealing with a shoulder injury that had him on the injury report earlier this month.
He has only missed two games this season, though.
Once when he was sick and another for the birth of his second child, perhaps suggesting he will play through this ailment given he hasn’t already been ruled out.