Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks are currently coming off of what was a disastrous 2023-24 season that culminated in a Play-In game loss to the Chicago Bulls in April. While Young continued to put up excellent statistics and earned another All-Star nod this year, the Hawks as a whole were the victims of an atrociously constructed roster that features arguably two average or above defenders (at most).

Three straight early postseason exits for the Hawks following their flukey Eastern Conference Finals run in 2021 means that the team now will have to deal with trade speculation throughout the 2024 offseason, and it's now at the point where it's certainly fair to wonder whether the team could entertain the idea of moving on from Young, backcourt running mate Dejounte Murray, or perhaps even both.

One team that would figure to be a logical suitor for a floor general this offseason is the New Orleans Pelicans, who saw their lack of stability in that department thoroughly exposed in their first round playoff sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder (albeit without Zion Williamson in the lineup).

Thus, it would make sense that the Pelicans and Hawks might potentially engage in some trade talks this summer, and now, more light is being shed on who the Pelicans may be looking to pry out of the Atlanta locker room.

“If the Pelicans reengaged the Hawks, they could look to pry away Murray or Young,” reported Christian Clark of “Even though Young is the more talented player, the Pelicans seem to hold more interest in Murray, league sources said. The 6-5 Murray is not as much of a defensive liability as the 6-1 Young can be. He is also on a cheaper contract; Murray will make $25.5 million next season, while Young is owed $43 million.”

Young does indeed have a reputation as a decidedly poor defender; however, Murray himself has also surprisingly been a clear negative on that end of the floor since joining the Hawks, showing poor instincts as to when to gamble for steals and a bizarre inability to stay in front of smaller ball-handlers despite his lengthy wingspan.

Should the Hawks blow it up?

Considering their ineptitude over the last three seasons, many fans and pundits alike have made calls for the Hawks to blow it up and embrace a full rebuild. The only problem? For the next three seasons, the Hawks do not control their own first round picks due to their trade for Murray with the San Antonio Spurs, meaning that all the losing they would theoretically do in that scenario wouldn't yield any draft benefits.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the Hawks overcame three percent odds and somehow won the NBA Draft Lottery this year, although this does project to be the weakest draft class in over a decade, and perhaps longer.

In any case, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if either Murray, Young, or both is no longer in a Hawks uniform when next NBA season gets underway in October.