The Atlanta Hawks have been escorted out of postseason after a thrashing by the Chicago Bulls. Atlanta fell in the 9-10 portion of the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament by a final score of 131-116.  That result is going to leave a lot of questions the Hawks will have to answer in the offseason. The most pressing being whether or not Atlanta trades Trae Young.

Pairing Young with Dejounte Murray simply has not worked for Atlanta for two seasons now. The Hawks hoped that Murray's defense and secondary shot creation would give them one of the most dynamic backcourt in the league, but that hasn't happened.

They are not good enough together to compete in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is substantially better or worse with one on the floor without the other. With that being the case, an argument could be made that Young can fetch more in a trade and should be the one to be dealt.

If the Hawks go that route, teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers stand out as possible trade partners.

San Antonio Spurs

If anybody were favorites to land Young in a trade, it would be the San Antonio Spurs. For one, they could really use a guard with the playmaking chops that Young has. Young has had outstanding pick and roll chemistry with Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu and is also one of the best scorers in those situations.

He has generated 0.98 points per possession when he is the pick and roll ballhandler this season according to That ranks in the 81st percentile of all NBA players. That's a better mark than any Spurs player has posted this year. Getting Young would bring much better organization and structure to San Antonio's offense and avoid further calamitous possessions.

When it comes to assets the Hawks may want, the Spurs could have the ultimate trump card. That would be… the Hawks' own picks. Atlanta owes the Spurs their unprotected picks in each of the next three seasons as a result of the trade that brought Murray to the Peach State. If the Hawks wanted to start over and rebuild, they would need their own picks to do so. They'd have to get them back from the Spurs.

Atlanta does have their pick this year and could have the 15th pick in the upcoming 2024 draft if the Kings beat the Pelicans in their play-in game on Friday. That's a nice start for a rebuild. They'd get a haul for Young no matter where they deal him, but the Spurs have what they need the most. That has to give San Antonio the advantage in possible future trade negotiations.

Los Angeles Lakers

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) warms up before a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Chicago Bulls at United Center.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers and Hawks already had trade talks at the deadline for Murray. But perhaps those talks could shift for Atlanta's other guard. A hang up regarding trade talks with the Lakers was the lack of draft picks the team could trade. With the Pelicans getting to choose whether or not they want the Lakers' first-round pick this year or next year, they could not deal that selection in any trade. They also owe a 2027 first to the Utah Jazz.

That changes in the summer. The Lakers will have three firsts they can trade by then as well as their first-round pick from 2023 in Jalen Hood-Schifino. Him, along with Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and picks is a solid groundwork for a potential deal.

The Lakers would have to throw in more, perhaps D'Angelo Russell depending on what he does with his player option. But Young would be a perfect pick and roll partner for Anthony Davis for the next era of Lakers basketball as LeBron James ages. If the Spurs don't land Young, the Lakers would be a great spot for him.