The lottery gods shined upon the Atlanta Hawks and gifted them with the first overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft even though they only had a three percent chance. This stroke of fortune could not have come at a better time for the Hawks franchise as they try to define the direction they'll be going amid two straight disappointing campaigns following their blockbuster trade for Dejounte Murray to create an All-Star backcourt alongside Trae Young.

Now, it remains unclear how the Hawks will be proceeding. But for NBA insider and analyst Bill Simmons, the answer has become more clear. Speaking on his eponymous podcast, Simmons revealed that a few of his sources have indicated that the Hawks, more likely than not, are going to move on from both Trae Young and Dejounte Murray this offseason.

“The thing I keep hearing from people is that if it was an over of one on FanDuel, Trae and Murray get traded and the over’s one and you could bet under, push, or over, that some people seem to think both of those guys are getting traded is a thing I’ve heard,” Simmons said on the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.

“From different people that don’t know each other, who know things, [they said that the Hawks are] just like, ‘You know what, we’ve got the number one pick, this didn’t work, we got to the Conference Finals that one time, let’s just try to blow this up.'”

Last season, the Hawks became one of the most interesting teams to monitor in the lead-up to the trade deadline. Dejounte Murray drew plenty of trade interest, most prominently from the Los Angeles Lakers, while Trae Young, despite being more of a long-shot trade candidate, was also involved in plenty of rumors himself.

It is definitely a bit of a twist in the tale to hear that the Hawks might be inclined to trade both of their All-Star guards instead of keeping one and seeing how the team would play out following the addition of a blue-chip prospect from the 2024 NBA Draft. Young is a 25-10 guy when healthy, and he creates so much offense that trading him away could be a franchise-altering mistake.

But the assets Young and Murray could net in a trade will help the Hawks move forward with their youth movement as they look to build around Jalen Johnson, Onyeka Okongwu, Kobe Bufkin, and the first overall pick of the upcoming draft.

Hawks' trade for Dejounte Murray doesn't work according to plan

The Hawks became aggressive two years ago; they traded for Dejounte Murray, fresh off a career year, in a blockbuster trade with the San Antonio Spurs. Murray was one of the most well-rounded guards in the NBA, and the Hawks viewed him as someone who could improve the team's point of attack defense.

In 2021-22, the Hawks ranked 26th in defense after allowing 113.7 points per 100 possessions. But following the addition of Murray, they did not improve much on that end of the floor. They had a defensive rating of 115.4 in his first season in Atlanta and they remained in the bottom-third of the league on that end of the floor. And then this past season, their defense only got worse. They allowed a defensive rating of 118.4, which had them ranked 27th.

Dejounte Murray's on-court fit alongside Trae Young also wasn't the best; their dynamic was mostly your-turn, my-turn, with Young's deliberate and ball-pounding play style not exactly meshing well with a backcourt partner who needed the ball as well to thrive.

The Hawks gave up their 2025 and 2027 first-round picks in exchange for Murray, which makes embarking on a rebuild that much more difficult. If Atlanta trades away Murray and Young this offseason, then they will find it difficult to win over 30 games unless Alexandre Sarr or Zaccharie Risacher, two of the prospects who could conceivably go at number one in this year's draft, play at an All-Star level out of the gates.

Those picks of theirs that they traded away are unprotected, so they won't be compensated next season even if they do bottom out. Expect the Hawks to keep one of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray even with what Bill Simmons said, as this is the path that makes the most sense for them.

Atlanta's young core, on the come up?

The 2024 NBA Draft class may not be the best, but the Hawks have an opportunity to draft a potential two-way big man star in Alex Sarr, while they could also acquire a floor-spacing wing with considerable potential in Zaccharie Risacher.

The Hawks will then have Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu (especially if Clint Capela is traded) still to give the team some talented youngsters to lead the frontcourt, while Kobe Bufkin could be in for a larger role in Year 2. Perhaps AJ Griffin could make a return to relevance. Trading Trae Young or Dejounte Murray should also bring in another youngster or two, as both are still under contract for multiple seasons.

The blueprint is there for the Hawks to build a contending team, and this offseason will be crucial in deciding the fate of the franchise for the next few years.