On Wednesday evening, Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks saw their season come to an unceremonious end with a brutal blowout Play-In game loss to the Chicago Bulls on the road, signaling the conclusion of what had been a disastrous 2023-24 campaign on multiple fronts for an Atlanta team that was expected to compete for at the very least a top six seed in the vaunted Eastern Conference playoff picture. Instead, the same defensive issues that defined the Hawks during the 2022-23 season reared their ugly heads once again, and Young missed the longest stretch of his career this year due to a finger injury which required surgery, consequently looking nothing like himself during the team's horrible performance vs the Bulls.

On Friday morning, the Hawks held their annual exit interviews, which are starting to become a yearly tradition in mid-April as opposed to May or June.

During them, Young spoke on how he views his future with the franchise, and his comments aren't exactly sure to encourage Hawks fans who want to see the team's best player in franchise history stick around for the long haul.

“Obviously I want to be here. I want to be here, but I want to win too… I want to be here. I want to win championships here… That's been me from the beginning,” said Young, per Brad Rowland of the Locked on Hawks podcast on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

Young also spoke on his immense expectations for the franchise.

“Nobody's expectations are higher than me. Nobody in the city of Atlanta's expectations of our team are higher than mine,” said Young, per the Hawks' official account on X.

A letdown of a season

The Hawks were by no means viewed as championship contenders heading into the 2023-24 campaign. However, there was some reason for cautious optimism, as the team had a full offseason under head coach Quin Snyder to try to increase the synergy between Young and backcourt running mate Dejounte Murray, who the team had acquired from the San Antonio Spurs during the 2022 offseason.

Instead, Young and Murray continued to compound each other's weaknesses while chipping away at each other's strengths, and the Hawks' glaring lack of perimeter defense was all to clear during their Play-In game loss to the Bulls, which saw Coby White turn into the second coming of Michael Jordan to the tune of 42 points on unbelievable efficiency.

Now, the obvious question heading into the offseason will concern whether the Hawks are willing to trade either Murray, Young, or both, and thus bring an end to an era that has gone steadily downhill since the team's shocking run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021.

In any case, priority number one for Atlanta this offseason should be adding more defensive perimeter defenders. The only player on their roster who is even average on that end of the floor is De'Andre Hunter, who suffered arguably the worst game of his career vs the Bulls.

The NBA Draft is slated to take place in around two months.