Hawks stuck with $40.3 million salary dump in Trae Young trade hypothetical

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The Hawks are going to be wheeling and dealing this week.

Not only do they own the No. 1 pick, but they also are expecting to be active in trade talks surrounding Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, and potentially more.

There’s a lot of movement coming, but I feel quite confident one of the scenarios doesn’t involve taking on a $40.3 million salary dump in the form of Ben Simmons along with three first-round picks in exchange for their superstar in Trae Young as Bleacher Report concocts as a trade idea.

The trade: Trae Young to the Brooklyn Nets for Ben Simmons, Dariq Whitehead, a 2025 first-round pick (via PHO), a 2027 first-round pick (top-eight protected, via PHI) and a 2029 first-round pick (via DAL)

Let’s break this down.

As Zach Buckley states, the Hawks could reset around Jalen Johnson, the No. 1 pick, and other 2025 prospects, but that’s not possible without Atlanta somehow reacquiring their 2025 first-round pick from the Spurs.

So, in that sense, it doesn’t work at all. Moreover, it doesn’t work at all because those first-round picks could practically be useless.

A 2025 first-round pick from the Suns will surely be outside of the lottery as Phoenix is expected to retain Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Kevin Durant. Even in a loaded 2025 draft class, the Hawks would be picking in the bottom 10 picks most likely.

Moreover, the 2027 first-round pick from the 76ers could be up in the air, but I have a feeling a roster centered around a budding star in Tyrese Maxey and an aging Joel Embiid will still be in postseason contention.

The 2029 first-round pick from Dallas could be anyone’s guess as to how valuable, but Luka Doncic is only 25 years old. I doubt they’re going to be in the running for a top 5 pick anytime soon.

Oh yeah, and the Hawks would be taking on the salary of Ben Simmons who would instantly become the highest-paid player on a club that is deathly afraid of the luxury tax. All of this benefits the Nets, and there are very few realities where it works out for the Hawks.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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