After a couple of disappointing NBA seasons for the Atlanta Hawks, some are questioning if the Hawks will ultimately entertain the idea of trading star point guard Trae Young.
There was some trade chatter surrounding the floor general back in the spring, but most of it appeared to be speculation more than anything. Young then had a very impressive performance in Atlanta’s first-round playoff loss to the Boston Celtics, and the rumors quickly quieted down afterward.
Young appears content in Atlanta…for now. One has to wonder if that will remain the case if the Hawks continue struggling.
So, who are some clubs that could potentially jump in the mix as possible landing spots should things between Young and the Hawks go south?
Here are three teams to monitor.
Los Angeles Lakers
It seems like the Los Angeles Lakers always get attached to every big name player, so this should not come as too much of a surprise.
Last month, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that Young has “long been on Los Angeles’ radar.”
Young is a Klutch Sports client, so that may give the Lakers an inside edge. Plus, with LeBron James in his twilight years (he pondered retirement following LA’s Western Conference Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets), Los Angeles needs to win now, which could give the Lakers a sense of urgency in terms of trying to put a package together for Atlanta.
Of course, whether or not Young would be the right fit alongside of James and Anthony Davis is a question. He would be required to play off the ball a lot, and pairing two ball-dominant stars on the wing is always risky.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks & Los Angeles Lakers Updates
That being said, with retirement on the horizon for James, Young could end up serving as LeBron’s replacement.
The Brooklyn Nets are a rather interesting team.
While they are clearly not a contender in an Eastern Conference that houses the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, they have an interesting young roster that includes Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Nic Claxton. They also have a fair amount of draft capital at their disposal.
Brooklyn wants to be competitive, so it would not be shocking to see the team take a stab at trying to land Young in a trade.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks & Brooklyn Nets Updates
A trio of Young, Bridges and Johnson would certainly be intriguing, and with the right role players around those three, the Nets could be a sleeper squad in the East for the future.
The Raptors are kind of caught in between right now. They aren’t good enough to make a serious playoff run, and they aren’t bad enough to finish near the bottom of the standings and earn a good draft pick.
For that reason, the Toronto Raptors are a prime destination for a star like Young.
It’s not like the Raptors are bereft of talent. Pascal Siakam has developed into one heck of a two-way player, and while Scottie Barnes didn’t show a whole lot of progression last season, the talent is still clearly there for 2021’s No. 4 overall pick.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks & Toronto Raptors Updates
Adding Young into the mix could catapult Toronto into contender status in the East, and a package centered around Gary Trent Jr. could very well draw Atlanta’s interest.