Trae Young predicted to be among next wave of stars to request a trade

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The Hawks are entering a new era under Quin Snyder. It’s clear the club’s future is tied to the former Jazz head coach, as well as Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. I’d argue that if one of Young or Snyder leaves that the other will exit shortly after. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but it’s a reality some Hawks fans need to accept.

2023 will be the first of a five-year contract for Snyder, and Young is entering his supermax deal. With several young core pieces ascending for bigger roles, the Hawks are an exciting club. Still, nobody in the Eastern Conference is scared of what’s happening in Atlanta.

Though I’m cautiously optimistic about the club’s direction under Snyder, it would be foolish to overlook the ownership group consistently handicapping the front office and coaching staff. Whether it’s financially or administratively, Tony Ressler and his son cannot get out of their own way and let basketball people make the basketball decisions.

It’s the reason I was confused about why Quin Snyder took the job in the first place. He was one of the hottest candidates in the coaching pool but chose the Hawks over actual championship contenders. There’s no telling how it’s going to work out in Atlanta, but if it doesn’t, Hawks fans should probably get used to the idea of a total rebuild… without Trae Young.

Bleacher Report recently explored the next crop of NBA superstars who will demand a trade, and the Hawks point guard was included. Here’s what Zach Buckley had to say.

Trade winds have swirled in close proximity to Trae Young for a while now.

Last December, rival executives wondered aloud whether the prolific point guard would be “the next player on a rookie max extension to request a trade if the team doesn’t make inroads come postseason time,” per B/R’s Chris Haynes. Then in April, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Atlanta Hawks front office had been given the green light “to do whatever it wants with the roster,” including trading Young.

Atlanta’s second consecutive first-round exit couldn’t have done anything to quiet any trade talks. The Hawks have had trouble finding their footing since their Eastern Conference Finals breakthrough in 2021, and that’s rarely a situation that lends itself to stability.

Atlanta is attempting to retool on the fly. In the last calendar year, the franchise has paid a fortune to acquire Dejounte Murray (three firsts and a first-round pick swap), changed head coaches (Nate McMillan out, Quin Snyder in) and let go of longtime rumor-mill resident John Collins for dirt cheap (Rudy Gay and a future second-rounder).

And the Hawks may not be done. They’ve been trying to pave a path to Pascal Siakam, but no trade hasn’t happened yet. If one ever does, the cost figures to be significant, and since Siakam is on an expiring deal, it might only be for a rental.

If that’s not the answer, though, what is? The Hawks have some intriguing young players, but is Young ready to wait for their development? More importantly, is he sold on Murray as his co-star? Both work best with the ball in their hands, and neither had a great shooting season in 2022-23.

Atlanta’s outlook is somewhere between murky and mediocre. It takes gobs of optimism and a hearty helping of imagination to picture the Hawks crashing the championship conversation this coming season. If Atlanta has wondered whether this mix is right, it’s reasonable to assume Young could be having the same thoughts.

It’s fair to say the Hawks’ championship aspirations are a pipe dream as the roster is currently constructed, but I’d argue Trae Young puts a ton of faith in Quin Snyder. Until Snyder is ousted, Young won’t force his way out of Atlanta.

I truly believe the young star wants to see it through in Atlanta. Young wants to bring a championship to the Hawks franchise and isn’t going to give up even if the upcoming campaign doesn’t prove to be fruitful. It could one day come, but Trae Young isn’t leaving any time soon.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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