Rival exec: Hawks 'discussed' potential Trae Young trade with rumored top suitor

The Atlanta Hawks may be further along in their plans for a potential Trae Young trade this offseason than it seems.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (24-30) may be further along in the idea of moving on from Trae Young than it appears at first blush.

There has been a surge of speculation over the last few days in the wake of the trade deadline, with multiple reports that the Hawks could entertain the idea this coming offseason emerging. It was previously widely held that their goal was to build around the three-time All-Star.

He’s available,” an anonymous Eastern Conference executive said, per The Ringer’s Howard Beck on February 13. 

“I think they would love to trade Trae,” a Western Conference exec said, per Beck.

Young is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract but he has been on “trade watch” for a couple of seasons now. And the quiet trade deadline left open the speculation that he could be available, which Beck appears to substantiate with a rumored discussion.  

“One exec said Atlanta discussed a potential Young trade with San Antonio before last week’s deadline,” Beck wrote. “The Hawks were also well known to be shopping Dejounte Murray, their other star guard, before the deadline, but never found a deal they liked. It’s considered a near certainty that they will part with one, or both, this summer.”

Report. Trae open to Spurs. Trae Young 'would be open' to playing with Victor Wembanyama. dark

The Hawks’ on-again, off-again flirtation with the idea of trading Murray could be a driving factor in the uptick in Young trade chatter. But The Stein Line's Marc Stein wrote that the Spurs topped the "perceived list" -- an important distinction -- of potential trade suitors on February 12.

Anonymous outside sources are dubious at best.

Again, though, there are also multiple reports of the Hawks’ star’s potential availability, including Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.

“There are several front offices that listened to Atlanta’s pre-deadline chatter and came away from conversations with the Hawks of the belief Trae Young could become available for trade this summer,” Fischer wrote on February 8.

Fischer went on to note that it would depend on the Hawks’ season.

He also noted that it could just be “wishful thinking” from the outside, citing Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid as another example.

Trae Young fined for ‘inappropriate gesture’ in Hawks’ loss

While the rumors swirled, Young did come up in a piece of administrative news, receiving a fine by the NBA.

“Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young has been fined $35,000 for directing an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture toward a game official, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations,” read the official release from the NBA communications team.

“The incident occurred with 3:58 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ 136-126 loss to the Chicago Bulls on February 12 at State Farm Arena.”

Young received a technical foul for flopping on a missed three with the Hawks trailing 120-111.

He appeared to clap at the whistling official and flashed the money sign following the infraction, though he was not given technicals for either act. That call was also his second technical of the game.

Young received a tech for complaining to an official following a possession in which Dejounte Murray appeared to get fouled trying to rebound the ball.

He and the Hawks are back in action on February 14 against the Charlotte Hornets.

They will be without Onyeka Okongwu – for the next week at least – following a toe injury he suffered versus Chicago. Atlanta is still without starting center Clint Capela as well, leaving Bruno Fernando as the only true center on the roster.