Why the Atlanta Hawks should think about trading Trae Young to the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly shown an interest in adding Trae Young. Let's take a look at why the Atlanta Hawks should show an interest in this deal.

Mar 21, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young looks on against the Phoenix Suns
Mar 21, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young looks on against the Phoenix Suns / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are currently in a battle for the final play-in tournament, and they are doing so without a number of their key players. One of these players is their franchise cornerstone, Trae Young who is potentially out for the rest of the season.

Even without Young, the Hawks are a competitive unit, and it is thanks in large part to the stellar play of Dejounte Murray. He is ably supported by the rest of the makeshift starting lineup and the developing youngsters which is a big part of what is making this season fun.

Still, there is no way that the Hawks will move up the standings next season if they don't find a more talented playing group to surround Murray. This is where the Los Angeles Lakers interest in adding Young to their roster could provide the players that they need, or at least the ability to acquire them

How the Atlanta Hawks can benefit from the Lakers interest

For the Lakers to fit Young into their salary cap, they will have to give up some solid players. The Hawks could get some size back with Rui Hachimura who has played really well off the bench for most of this season. He would be a great backup for Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu.

However, his $17 million deal would not come close to matching Young's salary so at least one more player needs to be added to the deal. That player should be D'Angelo Russell, despite the Hawks' apparent reluctance to include him in any deal before the trade deadline last season.

Russell has worked hard on his off-the-ball game as he knew that he was not going to be ball-dominant with LeBron James on the team. As such, he has shown tremendous development with his quick release 3-ball. In fact, he has devloped the shot well enough that he does not bring the ball down prior to shooting it.

If he could bring this to the Hawks', then this would be a great help to Murray. Russell would also be able to take the ball-handling duties when Murray needs to take a seat. However, the other benefit would be that Russell is not as much of a sieve as Young on defense. He is not a top-level defensive player but he is not a liability.

This may all be an academic exercise as the Hawks may not trade Young and the Lakers may not want to give up these two players. However, for the Hawks to escape the current mediocrity, they need to explore any option available to them.