This Trae Young trade hypothetical will make Hawks fan sick

NBA: APR 17 Play In East Hawks at Bulls

The Hawks are expected to shake up the roster in a big way this offseason, and the two biggest dominos are easily what they do with the No. 1 overall pick and a Dejounte Murray or Trae Young trade.

Alex Sarr is the odds-on favorite to be the first prospect off the board in about a month. If he can develop offensively, the 7-foot Frenchman could very well be the next unicorn in the NBA.

However, the more notable decision looming for Atlanta is which All-Star point guard will they build around. A Trae Young trade would net more assets in return to build around his counterpart, but he’s certainly the better player of the two, so the Hawks will have to weigh the possibilities against each other.

More recently, a report revealed that clubs may value Dejounte Murray over Trae Young, which isn’t too surprising. Firstly, Murray would be cheaper financially and might not cost as much capital in a potential trade. Secondly, he’s a much bigger point guard that is an asset defensively, rather than a liability. He doesn’t have the offensive ceiling that Trae Young has but an acquiring team might not need it.

With that being said, Young is still a superstar, regardless of the last couple of seasons. He’s a walking 25 and 10; nearly every club in the NBA would be infinitely better with Trae Young instead of their current point guard. If his trade value is indeed as low as some reports suggest, the Hawks would be wise to just hang on to him.

Because if a Trae Young trade nets… Brandon Ingram… straight up… the world has gone crazy. In this Bleacher Report hypothetical from Zach Buckley, the Hawks give up their best player in exchange for the Pelicans second-best player.

The trade: Trae Young to the New Orleans Pelicans for Brandon Ingram

Young’s open-market value feels impossible to pin down. He’s a three-time All-Star with some of the gaudiest stat lines around, but he’s also a glaring defensive liability and one of the more ball-dominant players in this league.

Rather than attempting to calculate his trade value in terms of picks, prospects and financial relief, Atlanta could always simplify the process by taking back a similarly polarizing player.

Ingram is a 26-year-old with an All-Star nod and a Most Improved Player award on his resume. He’s on a five-year run of averaging at least 20 points and four assists per game, a feat matched by only a dozen other players. He also hasn’t cleared 70 games since his rookie season, has lost a not-insignificant amount of scoring and three-point volume and needs a new contract between now and next summer.

The Pelicans, who could use a new playmaker, are reportedly planning to shop Ingram around. A challenge trade between these teams could be wildly entertaining if either unlocked something in one of these players that the other never could.

A trade of Dejounte Murray straight up for Brandon Ingram seems more in line with their values. Brandon Ingram is a 6-foot-9 wing that can get his own shot, but he’s not some superstar. He’s made one All-Star appearance, has never led his team further than the first round of the playoffs, and isn’t capable of shouldering the load offensively. Young, on the other hand, has made it to a Conference Finals, is capable of taking over offensively, and is an All-NBA talent.

Ingram has averaged fewer than 22 points and about five assists in his two postseason series. Young, who has been in the league two fewer seasons, averages over 26 points and nine assists per game in five postseason series.

What’s even crazier is if you take out the series against the Heat in 2022, when Miami blitzed Trae Young without a second ball handler, he is averaging over 28 points and nearly 10 assists in four playoff series. The two aren’t on the same level, and suggesting a straight-up swap is disingenuous to the kind of player Young has been.

Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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