Trae Young Candidly Addresses Future With Hawks After Play-In Loss

The All-Star guard made several things clear after another disappointing season in Atlanta.
Apr 17, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Javonte Green (24) defends Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11).
Apr 17, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Javonte Green (24) defends Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11). / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

As hard as it may be to believe, 2024 marked guard Trae Young's sixth season with the Atlanta Hawks.

The highlight-generating machine at Oklahoma is now a seasoned NBA veteran. So far, Young has largely met the lofty expectations thrust upon him when the Hawks traded for him on draft night in 2018—he's made three All-Star teams and averaged 25.5 points per game.

However, Atlanta has never been able to recapture the magic of its stunning run to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals. After a 131-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the East's 9-10 play-in game Wednesday, the Hawks find themselves at a crossroads. When asked Friday morning whether he wanted to remain in Atlanta long-term, Young waffled a bit.

"I want to be here, but I want to win, too," Young said. "I want to win championships here, but I wanna win. That's pretty much all it is for me. That's my motto and it's been me from the beginning."

Young is two seasons into a five-year, $215 million contract that runs through the 2026 season, with an early termination option for 2027.

Despite the superstar point guard's individual success, the Hawks' winning percentage has decreased every year since '21. In 2023-'24, Atlanta finished with a 36-46 record.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.