Hawks CEO Steve Koonin insists there are no financial limitations

NBA: APR 17 Play In East Hawks at Bulls

The Atlanta Hawks are heading into one of the most pivotal offseasons in franchise history. They are expected to be heavily involved in the trade market, with most believing they will ultimately move Trae Young or Dejounte Murray, and also own the #1 overall pick after winning the lottery.

There will be no shortage of opportunities for them to significantly upgrade the roster this offseason, and they need to if they want to keep star point guard Trae Young in Atlanta for much longer. For the first time in his career, he hinted at the possibility of life after the Hawks, and several reports have suggested that he will hold ownership’s feet to the fire soon if improvements are not made around him.

That’s become the norm in the NBA for superstars, but nobody can really fault Trae Young. He’s proven capable of leading a team deep into the postseason, even without another star around him, but the Hawks have consistently failed to build a competent roster around him since their Eastern Conference Finals run a few years ago.

A primary reason for that is ownership’s unwillingness to go into the luxury tax, which Hawks CEO Steve Koonin continued to deny Friday on 92.9 The Game’s Dukes and Bell.

There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. Despite ownership denying these claims about being cheap, the moves they have made suggest otherwise, actively making the team worse to avoid going into the luxury tax.

Trae Young as well as Hawks fans have every right to be upset. These are billionaires making money hand over fist off the team, yet they seem much more concerned with lining their own pockets than putting the best product possible on the floor. Nobody should believe a word out of the mouths of Steve Koonin or the Resslers until proven otherwise.

Perhaps that changes this offseason, thanks in part to Trae Young’s unhappiness. He’s the biggest basketball star in Atlanta since Dominique Wilkins. Young puts butts in seats; butts in seats put money in pockets. So, it would behoove all parties to spend as much as possible to keep Young happy in hopes of convincing him to sign another long-term contract.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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