Trae Young sets record straight on trade rumors, Hawks future

Trae Young spoke candidly about his name coming up in trade rumors at the deadline and his future with the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Trae Young has not requested a trade. And yet, the hottest story in many NBA circles is how teams are trying to pry the Atlanta Hawks star loose. Some of how this plays out is out of Young’s control.

However, the three-time All-Star spoke candidly about that and about his plans for the future as he looks to take the next step in his career.

“It's part of it,” Young said about the rumors via Jameelah Johnson on February 18.

“The best players in the game have all been traded. Some of the few lucky ones have been blessed to be drafted in situations where they can win championships and it all be perfect for them, they can stay in that one situation forever.

"That's that's what I wanted to do and that's what I want to do with Atlanta. But who knows? It's a type of league where things change and it happens. But, obviously, my mindset is staying in Atlanta right now, and I don't get caught up in all the rumors and stuff. My contract is locked in for a couple years, so I don't have very much saying it right now.”

Young’s comments come in the wake of reports that the Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing him or 2023 trade deadline target Dejounte Murray this offseason.

Murray was involved in trade talks with the Lakers ahead of the February 8 deadline.

Trae Young’s comments could put pressure on Hawks front office

Young has maintained that he wants to win a championship in Atlanta -- something his father echoed on social media over the weekend -- and lamented that the team has taken steps back since helping guide the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals with back-to-back first-round exits.

He is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract. But there is an early termination option for the final season in 2026-27.

That essentially puts the Hawks on a one-year timeline.

Players typically start putting pressure on front offices when their deals have one to two years remaining. If this season finishes as it’s started for the Hawks, giving them three straight disappointing campaigns since the ECF, the clock could start ticking quickly.

There were already rumors that rival front offices came away from trade talks ahead of the deadline with the sense that Young could be available this offseason.

His remarks are similar to Murray’s in that if a trade comes, it will be because of the front office.

Young’s desire to win was viewed as a potential hurdle for General Manager Landry Fields to overcome as they eyed a potential step back this season. Furthermore, they were rumored to be seeking first-round picks in exchange for some of their established (and expensive) veterans.

Young has openly spoken about how difficult it is to win with young players, a scenario that has played out in the NBA time and again.

Trae Young responds to Hawks teammate after 3-Point Contest

Young – who played the fewest minutes and still led all players in assists in the All-Star Game – also competed in the 3-Point Contest, finishing in second place ahead of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns and behind back-to-back champ Damian Lillard of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Proud of you brate,” Young’s teammate, Bogdan Bogdanovic, exclaimed in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on February 17.

“Love Brotha,” Young replied, quoting Bogdanovic’s post. “I needed your powers to finish the job.”

The Hawks won't take the floor again until February 23 at home against the Toronto Raptors.