Should the Brooklyn Nets Have Interest in Trading for Trae Young?

If the Atlanta Hawks deal Trae Young, should the Nets put together a package?
Dec 6, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) dribbles against Atlanta
Dec 6, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) dribbles against Atlanta / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Brooklyn Nets seek direction this offseason, acquiring a star player will likely be top of mind. This is easier said than done, but can certainly be accomplished via trade with the right package. Furthermore, a team with a star player will need to be willing to part ways with one of its stars, which makes these types of deals even more complicated. 

With that in mind, one of the star players who is expected to be available for the right price this summer is Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. 

Young is a remarkable talent, living up to expectations after being selected in the top five of the 2018 NBA Draft. At just 25 years old, he’s a three-time All-Star with career averages of 25.5 points and 9.5 assists per contest. He’s one of the most electric offensive engines in the league, with the ability to score from well beyond the arc and also do his teammates up when needed. 

But is he a fit in Brooklyn?

At the surface, the answer may be no. But that’s primarily because a backcourt pairing of Young and Cam Thomas would undersized and a liability on defense. 

Even then, there’s a chance that Thomas would be the cornerstone piece of a trade for Young. When thinking about it that way, upgrading the backcourt from Thomas to Young would really start to build out a more competitive roster for the Nets. It wouldn’t be a straight-up trade for the two guards, but the Nets could offer young players or future draft capital in a package for Atlanta’s star player. 

To this point, Young hasn’t proven to be capable of being the top option on a contending team. The Hawks have seen success with him at the helm once — in the 2020-21 season as Atlanta went to the Eastern Conference Finals — but otherwise Young’s teams have missed the playoffs or been first-round exits. 

As such, this type of move would create a duo of Young and Mikal Bridges, but Brooklyn would still need to find its top option down the road. Building a true contender doesn’t happen overnight, but Young would be a great step in the right direction. 

Assuming the price isn’t too high, the Nets should at least explore what a trade for Trae Young would look like this offseason. 


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Nick Crain

NICK CRAIN

Nick has spent the last four seasons covering the Oklahoma City Thunder and has grown quickly in the media since starting. He’s continued to produce Thunder content through writing for Forbes.com and podcasting with The Uncontested Podcast, as well as branching out to cover the NBA as a whole for SLAM Online.