Hawks: Bleacher Report’s blockbuster trade sends Trae Young to Magic

NBA: APR 17 Play In East Hawks at Bulls

The Hawks are expected to trade one of Dejounte Murray or Trae Young because the two have proven over multiple seasons that they cannot co-exist. That’s not to say they aren’t valuable players, but the fit was awkward from the start and never corrected itself.

It seems much easier to build around an elite offensive talent like Young rather than Murray. Trae Young is a special offensive player that can be the engine of a team. All the Hawks have to do is surround him with physicality and size.

On the other hand, Murray would give the Hawks more defensively but less offensively. Atlanta would have to acquire more offensive talent to surround Murray with, and offense is much more difficult to find than defense in this league.

Hawks fans can’t ignore that Trae Young would net more in return than Dejounte Murray, but it might not quite be what they had in mind. Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report recently put together a blockbuster trade that sends Young to the Magic in exchange for three young pieces, two first-round picks, and a 2029 pick swap.

Trae Young for Cole Anthony, Anthony Black, Jett Howard, a 2025 first-round pick (via Denver), a 2027 first-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick swap

For the Atlanta Hawks, this certainly isn’t the kind of win-now trade Dejounte Murray would probably want (it might make sense to move him too), but a core with Murray, Bogdan Bogdanović, Jalen Johnson, Onyeka Okongwu and the incoming talent in this deal probably wouldn’t have them much further from contention than they are right now.

And this timeline gives them more financial flexibility and picks going forward.

Cole Anthony unexpectedly took on a prominent role in his first couple of years in Orlando but was relegated to coming off the bench this past season. He averaged 13.0 points per game, with 3.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game on the most efficient shooting of his career. Those are really good sixth-man numbers. Anthony would seemingly assume a similar role in Atlanta.

Anthony Black’s biggest asset is his defense. He has tremendous size and length but only averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 assists and 0.5 steals per outing. Jett Howard, on the other hand, is more of an offensive threat, particularly shooting the ball.

He appeared mostly with Orlando’s G League affiliate in Osceola where he knocked down close to 38% of his three-point attempts, averaging 18.8 points per game after being drafted 11th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Hawks would effectively be hitting the reset button, and if this were the best offer, they might as well trade Dejounte Murray. This would be a disappointing haul for a player that led his team to the Conference Finals a few years ago, which is why I believe it’s in the Hawks best interest to keep Trae Young.

Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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