Top potential landing spots for Hawks star Trae Young

With the Atlanta Hawks (24-30) clinging to the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, is it time for the franchise to move on from the Trae Young-Dejounte Murray pairing at season’s end?

Per The Ringer’s Howard Beck, league executives believe that not only is Young available for trade but that the Hawks would be eager to do so as early as this offseason.

Despite the team’s woes, Young has been having an outstanding season, averaging 27 points and a career-high 10.9 assists per game. If the Hawks are serious about trading Young, these teams would benefit from acquiring the three-time All-Star.

San Antonio Spurs (11-43)

The San Antonio Spurs have the most exciting player in the NBA right now in Victor Wembanyama, and despite the team’s 11-43 record, he has become must-watch television. The Spurs desperately need a playmaker who can get the ball in Wembanyama’s hands as much as possible, and who better to do that than the league leader in total assists in Young?

Imagine the amount of lobs Wembanyama would be on the receiving end of with a passer as talented as Young?

The Spurs have young talent in Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson as well as all their own first-round picks to sweeten the deal. The Spurs also have the Hawks’ unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 from the Murray trade that they can give back.

25-year-old All-Stars rarely become available for trade and if the Spurs want to get serious about surrounding Wembanyama with legitimate talent as soon as possible, they need to consider this trade.

Orlando Magic (29-25)

The Orlando Magic are a talented team that is one move away from becoming a bona fide playoff contender. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Magic are sixth in defense but only 24th in offense, which makes Young a natural fit for a team in need of a player capable of raising its offensive ceiling.

Another area the Magic struggle with is fourth-quarter scoring good for only 27th. Meanwhile, Young is sixth in fourth-quarter points per game (8.0) and second in overall points (378). As the game slows down, it’s important to have a player who can consistently generate good shots for himself and the team. 

The Magic have an overabundance of young talent in Markelle Fultz, Anthony Black and Jonathan Isaac, as well as extra draft picks at their disposal to entice the Hawks. This Magic team is ready to compete right now, and Young could be the piece that puts them over the top.

Toronto Raptors (19-35)

After trading two cornerstone pieces in Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, the Toronto Raptors are committed to rebuilding around rising star Scottie Barnes. While Barnes is one of the league’s best young players, the team has struggled offensively.

The Raptors are 21st in offense and 22nd in defense with a severe lack of three-point shooting (24th in percentage and 21st in attempts). Adding Young to the mix would open things up for Barnes who’s at his best attacking the paint and kicking out to perimeter shooters. 

With a dynamic offensive player in Young on the receiving end of a collapsing defense, he can get to the middle of the floor for one of his patented floaters, find his big man in the dunker spot or simply pull up from three. 

This may be Young’s last season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, and how the team performs this season will dictate their plans going into next season. However, the fact remains that Young is a supremely talented player who can provide a substantial boost to any floundering offense.

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