Trae Young makes critical business decision ahead of key offseason for Hawks

Trae Young made a critical business decision ahead of what is expected to be an offseason of change for the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has been like many of us this postseason, admiring the many stellar performances of his peers. But Young has also been locked in on the business of basketball. 

He has repeatedly addressed his future with the Hawks, noting Atlanta is where he wants to be but also emphasizing his desire to win.

His latest move may be a step toward ensuring that is done on his terms.

After three years which has seen Young make a deep playoff run and release three versions of his signature shoe, the Hawks three-time All-Star is changing his representation. Young is going from Klutch Sports Group to Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

“When I say it, I really mean it..,” Young posted on X on May 7, followed by his typical affirmation. “Another Day, Another Opportunity!!”

There are several potentially notable facets to this move.

First, Young’s change is a split from the agency that helped him secure his five-year, $215 million max contract. Young earned that money, though, so it’s fair to subscribe to the thought that he would have landed the deal regardless.

But Klutch is also the agency that represents Young’s teammates Dejounte Murray and Jalen Johnson.

Murray – a one-time All-Star and former steals champion – has been at the heart of the Hawks’ offseason chatter along with Young as rumors swirl about their intentions to break the duo up after just two seasons together.

Klutch Sports is also the agency most often associated with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Their largest client happens to also be the Lakers’ biggest star since Kobe Bryant, 20-time All-Star LeBron James.

Klutch also represents Lakers star Anthony Davis and forward Jarrett Vanderbilt. The Lakers have been one of the teams most linked to one of the Hawks’ All-Star guards in a potential offseason trade.

Young stirred the masses, popping out to a playoff game with Klutch boss Rich Paul last year.

Perhaps as notable, CAA and Klutch Sports have long been rivals in the business. Paul even had a veritable feud with former CAA agent Leon Rose.

That frosty relationship led to speculation that Klutch clients could avoid the New York Knicks – where Rose is president of baseball operations – out of perceived favoritism. Paul and Rose had a sit-down to smooth things over.

It will be interesting to see if this reignites the bad blood that was there.

Young and Murray have brushed aside the constant trade chatter that surrounded them this season.

However, the expectation remains that they will explore their options to trade one or both of the guards this offseason. Assistant Coach Mike Brey said as much in a candid radio interview during the season.

Trae Young: Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards ‘Should’ve been a Hawk’

Young has shown appreciation for several players’ respective games this p, including Paolo Banchero of the division rival Orlando Magic and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell during the first-round series.

Following strong showings in Games 1 and 2 of the Minnesota Timberwolves second-round series against the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, Young doubled back for one player.

Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards, an Atlanta native who still has strong in-state support.

“Should’ve been a Hawk to start, but that’s for another day..,” Young posted on X on May 7.

Edwards was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He called potentially landing with the Hawks a “dream come true” before the draft, which saw the Hawks select big man Onyeka Okongwu with the No. 6 overall pick.

There were questions about Edwards’ love for basketball, which some believed could have led to his sliding the draft. That did not happen.

He isn’t likely to have made it where the Hawks were initially slated to pick at No. 4 anyway.

Still, this would have been a marquee storyline during the draft for Hawks fans and Georgia sports fans. And the Hawks could certainly use Edwards’ talent as they try to make their way back to being a playoff team.