After weeks of flirtation and speculation, the news became official on Friday afternoon. Trae Young is following his agent, Omar Wilkes, from Octagon to Klutch Sports. Wilkes is taking over the agency’s basketball division, while Rich Paul focuses on his role as CEO of the ever-expanding business.
If the 2019 Anthony Davis trade is any proof — Klutch Sports and company (Rich Paul and Lebron James) are the most influential power players in the basketball universe.
Obviously, they always act in a way that best benefits Lebron James. After the 2021-2022 season, Young will be a restricted free agent. Is it possible that Ice Trae could leave for the bright lights of Tinsel Town? Let’s look at the two different scenarios.
The year is 2022. Young has made three straight All-Star appearances, a few All-NBA teams, and even graced the cover of NBA 2K. The only remaining knock against the 24-year-old is his inability to get past the conference semi-finals.
A disheartened All-Star stuck on a good but not great Hawks team decides he is leaving Atlanta to pursue the biggest stage in basketball. Young signs with the Lakers, joining a 37-year-old James and 29-year-old Davis. The King’s final act is yet another big-3 as he creeps closer to the ghost of Michael Jordan.
What ensues is more rings for the purple and gold dynasty, Young elevated into celebrity status, and Hollywood belongs to the unassuming kid from Oklahoma.
While Lakers fans love the thought of this, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising for Young to eventually leave Atlanta, especially if the team cannot put a winning product around him, the Hawks newest superstar doesn’t have much leverage. Even after the 2021-2022 season, he will only be a restricted free agent, allowing Atlanta to match any offer he signs with another team. There’s no way Travis Schlenk and company let him walk for nothing. Young has plenty of more years left as a Hawk once his current contract comes to an end.
After a contentious loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, Young firmly commits to staying in Atlanta. The league MVP uses his connections and clout through Klutch Sports to bring in an arsenal of help.
The Hawks starting lineup for the 2022-2023 season consists of Young, Zach Lavine, Cam Reddish, John Collins, Clint Capela. The off-season signing of Lavine is enough to put the Hawks over the top and bring home the first NBA Championship since 1958.
Young’s relationship with the city of Atlanta is forever cemented. Philanthropist, Finals MVP, and a future statue in front of State Farm Arena.
If 2020 has taught us anything, we can not predict the future. Who knows what the future might bring. But one thing we can count on is basketball history being written by Trae Young and Klutch Sports.