Trae Young gets honest about Hawks future in season-ending press conference

During his season-ending media availability, Trae Young made no bones about what he is looking for with or without the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

The end of the Atlanta Hawks season was as abrupt as their final game, a loss to the Chicago Bulls by a double-digit margin. No formal, big production accompanied them as it did for media day. 

But there was plenty said as the Hawks go off into the offseason, presumably with a monumental decision on their hands regarding Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

In the case of Young, he made no bones about his future.

“I mean, obviously, I want to be here. I mean I want to be here, but I want to win too,” Young told reporters on April 19. “So, obviously, I've said that since I've been here: I wanted – want to be here, I want to win championships here, and do that. But I want to win so that's pretty much all it is for me. That's my motto and that's been me from the beginning.

“I believe it can be here. We got to make it happen.”

This is far from the first time that Young has expressed sentiments to this affect, particularly when it comes to his future in Atlanta.

The desire to win in Atlanta has been there. 

“They’d never won a championship in Atlanta,” Young told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks on March 5. “Me getting drafted there felt like a match made in Heaven. Like, This is something I want to do. I can defeat the odds here, too.”

“My whole vision was to always be here. My goal is to win here,” Young told Rooks. “Win championships, bring people here with me and build this championship [team] here and dynasty here. But who knows? It’s Year 6, and who knows? For me, I want that.”

Young has noted a level of dissatisfaction with the level of team success he’s achieved so far in his career.

He has noted that the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals only raised the stakes.

“Whenever you’re in this position, you never feel like it’s enough,” Young said on “From the Point” on June 9. “You always feel like you want more – like there’s more out there. I mean obviously, I haven’t won everything. I haven’t won really anything, to be honest with you.

“I’ve gone into the Conference Finals which is cool. But, in my eyes, if you don’t win the championship, that ain’t enough.”

To his critics, Young has been as big of a detriment to the team’s success as anything else.

Trae Young pushes back on negative narrative amid Hawks trade rumors

The Hawks’ rumored discussions with other teams that left them feeling Young could be available this offseason haven’t helped. Nor has reports that the Hawks discussed a potential deal with the San Antonio Spurs.

Regardless, it appears the biggest stigma attached to Young is that you can’t win with him as your best player.

He denied that notion.

“People may think that I have to feel like I'm the best player on the team or first option,” Young said when asked how he would pitch the team to other players. “I'm not that way, I've never been that way so. I'm just a guy that's trying to get everybody involved and win the game. And I know when we win, everybody eats. So that's just been my motto since I was in high school, college.

“Being the best player on my team doesn't matter, being the second doesn't matter. I just want to win.

“If I was telling somebody that, that's probably what I’d tell and let them know that [if] they came here, they going to have a point guard that's going to get them the ball and make sure that they  in the best positions for themselves and for our team to win.”

While he’s always been an assist machine, Young’s 30.5% usage rate this past season was the second-lowest of his career.

Head Coach Quin Snyder has also noted his competitiveness on defense this season.

Young cannot change his stature. But he can continue to compete on defense – draw charges, disrupt passing lanes, and come away with steals – and get stronger. But there appears to be a brewing disagreement about which side is at the heart of the issue for the lack of team success.

That run to the ECF only sped up the timeline for everyone involved. For Young, the engine of that run, things could be coming to a head.