New B/R Trade Wants Hawks To Reset, Sends Trae Young To The Lakers In Massive Deal

If the Hawks breakup their backcourt this summer, could they send Trae Young To The Los Angeles Lakers?
Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots at the basket over
Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots at the basket over / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Atlanta Hawks are facing one of the biggest offseasons in the NBA and that was true even before they landed the No. 1 pick. The Hawks have a ton of options in front of them, but the biggest question remains what they will do with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Since trading for Murray in the summer of 2022, the results have been underwhelming. Atlanta had a first-round exit vs the Boston Celtics last season and then lost in the play-in tournament to the Chicago Bulls this season. Many expect the Hawks to make a change, but which point guard will they trade and where will they trade them?

Atlanta was shopping Murray up until the trade deadline this season and one of the teams that was interested in Murray was the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are on the hunt for a star to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it might not be Murray that they are after. There have been rumors about them being in Young and wanting to trade for him this summer. Since Young left Klutch Sports and made the move to CAA, some of that talk has lessened.

Still, until one trade happens, there are going to be rumors about the Lakers pursuing Young and one trade proposal from Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes sends the star point guard to Los Angeles for a familiar package of trade assets that Hawks fans have grown used to seeing:

The Trade

Los Angeles Lakers acquire Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks for Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, a 2029 first-round pick and a 2031 first-round pick

"With no clear top-option talent available to select at No. 1 in the 2024 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks can't exactly justify moving Trae Young because they've got his replacement all lined up. They can, however, use their fortunate position at No. 1 to sell a broader reconfiguring of the roster.

Possession of a top overall pick provides great cover for a soft reset.

In this hypothetical, the Hawks put the ball in Dejounte Murray's hands full-time, a tactic that yielded solid-to-good results in 2023-24. Atlanta put up a plus-0.8 net rating when Murray played without Young and was an even better plus-4.7 when Bogdan Bogdanović manned the other guard spot.

Reaves would offer a flexible third-guard option in that rotation, while Hachimura and a healthy Vincent would be useful role players on a Hawks roster that will likely be without Saddiq Bey (injury, restricted free agency) and Wesley Matthews (unrestricted).

Young is due to earn $43 million next year and $46 million in 2025-26 with a $49 million player option for 2026-27. That's a hefty price tag for an offense-only guard whose leadership qualities haven't exactly shone through to this point in his career. Or at least that's the argument the Lakers will use to justify not including another first-round pick in their offer.

Atlanta isn't facing a financial imperative to move Young, but GM Landry Fields seems convinced that the Young-Murray backcourt isn't working. He may have even hurt his team's trade leverage by broadcasting that belief.

For the Lakers, this is a pure star play. LeBron James and Anthony Davis need two-way support pieces more than anything else, but Young has had multiple seasons in which he's rated among the league's most effective offensive forces. His potential impact on L.A.'s offense, and his ability to create easy looks for James and Davis, could pay off in a big way."

Before diving deeper into this, it should be noted that the Hawks have not made Young available for trade and Young has not asked to be traded. This is all just speculation and I still think Young will remain in Atlanta when all is said and done this summer. It seems that Atlanta is heading towards breaking up their backcourt of Young and Dejounte Murray, but that could mean that Murray is the one who is traded. Atlanta was shopping Murray this season, including to the Lakers. There have been numerous reports from "Rival Executives" about the Hawks possibly trading Trae Young, but nothing from Young or the Hawks themselves.

If Atlanta does make Young available, there will be more teams than the Lakers that will try to trade for Young. I think other teams can also a lot more for Young than the Lakers can.

When looking at a potential trade, it is hard to get fired up if you are the Hawks about what the Lakers could offer outside of some draft picks. Austin Reaves is an intriguing player, but should not be the centerpiece of a deal for a player the caliber of Trae Young. I don't think this is the kind of trade that the Hawks should make. The picks are too far in the future and with Young on the Lakers, he at least gives them a high floor where they won't be among the worst teams in the league, making those picks less valuable. Reaves and Hachimura would just be role players alongside Murray and whoever the Hawks select at No. 1.

On ESPN's Get Up after the Lakers went down in the playoffs, ESPN's Brian Windhorst brought up Young as a trade target for the Lakers this offseason.

"There are opportunities for them, not necessarily in free agency, but via trade. They will have up to three first round picks that they can trade, starting on draft night, including this years first round pick if they want to and they have some pieces on their roster that they can use in trade. Now, what player would that be? Well, we will have to see what happens with star players as the season ends across the league. I think one name that you will hear as we get into this is Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks may look to break up their backcourt of Young and Dejounte Murray. The Lakers were interested in trading for Dejounte Murray during this season. Trae is the type of player that multiple teams will have interest in if the Hawks decide to make a move. I am not sure that he solves a lot of what the Lakers ills were, perimeter defense was an issue for the Lakers this season and in this series, that is something that Trae is not going to help with, but he is definitely a guy that will super charge your offense and he would look potentially amazing next to LeBron and AD, but there are other options and things that will develop over the next two months."

This summer is shaping up to be a potentially wild one in the NBA and the Hawks might be at the center of it no matter who they decide to trade.

Buckle up for the rumor mill this summer.

Jackson Caudell


Jackson Caudell covers the Atlanta Hawks and Georgia Tech Athletics for FanNation