Trae Younger’s relationship with the Atlanta Hawks doesn’t appear excellent proper now. On Monday, The Ringer reported Hawks possession gave the brand new entrance workplace full leeway to do no matter it takes to enhance the workforce this offseason — together with trying into buying and selling Younger, one of many league’s younger superstars. When requested concerning the report on Tuesday, Younger himself stated it, “could possibly be false, could possibly be true, you by no means know,” which may be very Zen and in addition not likely the type of robust “ignore exterior noise” denial that almost all gamers would’ve given in his place.
After that, Shams Charania reported some bizarre stuff concerning the workforce carefully watching Younger’s exercise habits and the shortage of belief mirrored in that.
This might simply be numerous noise surrounding a franchise within the final days of a misplaced 12 months because it tries to discover a new path ahead below Quin Snyder, who was employed in February to interchange Nate McMillan. Or it could possibly be the primary public cracks within the relationship between star and workforce, forewarning a commerce that may change the way forward for each events.
If it’s the latter, the Hawks could be well-suited to ship Younger out earlier than issues worsen. For all his flaws (particularly as a defender), Younger is likely one of the few guys within the NBA able to being an offense unto himself. This 12 months was a down 12 months and Younger nonetheless averaged 26.2 factors and 10.2 assists per sport. The tough factor is he’ll make $40 million subsequent 12 months within the second 12 months of his supermax contract extension. It is troublesome for any workforce to match that in a commerce.
However there are many prospects on the market regardless and lots of groups could be inquisitive about buying a 24-year-old star level guard, deficiencies and all. Listed below are a number of potential commerce locations for Younger if the Hawks do store him this summer time.
The Nets are type of in a bizarre spot the place they haven’t any of their very own draft picks so there may be zero incentive to tank. However they do not have a transparent path to buying a official celebrity and thus are doomed to run the treadmill of mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Mikal Bridges appears like he could be a 20 factors per sport scorer and All-NBA defender, which is clearly good, however he alone won’t be shifting any needles. Brooklyn ought to due to this fact be on the hunt for a possible working mate to get the franchise again into official competition and Younger is an incredible match on that entrance. Bridges’ defensive capabilities means the Nets can cover Younger wherever. Younger may run the present offensively and Bridges is a greater secondary scorer than anyone he has had by his facet to date.
As said, the Nets haven’t any of their picks however they do have a number of Suns picks from the Kevin Durant commerce, they usually personal some tasty late-decade Mavericks picks that may generate curiosity as that state of affairs continues to deteriorate. Sending out Cam Johnson (more likely to get about $20 million per 12 months) and Joe Harris, or Spencer Dinwiddie together with two draft picks looks as if start line. The Hawks might be hoping for a greater return however the Nets have sufficient property to be within the dialog.
That is an attractive choice for a number of causes. The Thunder, clearly, have an insane haul of draft picks that may convey over the following 5 years, they usually legitimately can’t use all of them. Younger is a hometown hero because the College of Oklahoma’s finest participant since Blake Griffin. They’re lastly out of the basement however nonetheless have a leap to take earlier than they’re annual playoff contenders, and Younger may help them with that. He would additionally resolve their largest downside as a workforce proper now, which is constant exterior taking pictures. Younger did not have a terrific 12 months statistically from deep however there’s motive to consider it was an outlier. There isn’t a group higher suited to cowl for him defensively than OKC’s cadre of long-armed wings that Sam Presti has been hoarding for years.
The first subject right here is that the Thunder do not actually have any massive contracts to commerce exterior of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — who will clearly be off the desk in all commerce talks. But when a 3rd workforce can get entangled to match salaries and the Hawks are blissful getting a boatload of picks and possibly standout rookie Jalen Williams in return for his or her franchise cornerstone, OKC is pretty much as good a match as you will discover.
This commerce would make virtually no sense for Portland however that is type of been the established order not too long ago because the Blazers attempt to appease Damian Lillard, whereas additionally paying him supermax cash. So it might’t be dominated out, particularly since Portland has a number of contracts that may make salary-matching fairly straightforward. Anfernee Simons will make $24 million subsequent 12 months and might be the most effective participant Atlanta may hope to get in a Younger commerce — a firecracker of a scorer on a reasonably affordable contract for the following three years. Portland may additionally supply up Shaedon Sharpe and no matter excessive decide it will get on this 12 months’s draft to assist sweeten the pot. Throw in yet another contract and the deal is just about finished.
That is the type of commerce the Hawks hope they will discover — a determined workforce prepared to overpay in picks and younger expertise to get a deal finished. The Blazers can present Lillard and their followers that they tried to do proper by him, and possibly their mixed offensive firepower would overcome the evident defensive points with the pairing. The Hawks get two potential cornerstones and a minimum of one excessive decide. Either side get what they need, even when it won’t be sensible.