The Atlanta Hawks have been going backwards ever since they made a thrilling trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021.
Last year, the Hawks had to win two play-in games just to finish as the No. 8 seed in the East. They went on to fall to the top-seeded Miami Heat in the opening round. And barring an incredible late-season run, the Hawks will likely have to once again win at least one play-in game to qualify for the postseason.
Atlanta’s franchise star, Trae Young, has popped up in plenty of trade rumors amid the team’s inconsistent play here in 2022-23. If the Hawks finish the year on a disappointing note, trade rumors around Young are sure to further ramp up.
At NBA Analysis Network, James Piercey proposed a blockbuster trade in which the Hawks send Young to the championship-contending Boston Celtics for fellow young star Jaylen Brown:
“For the Hawks, this is about a culture reset…
Moreover, Young is a weak defender. Yes, he has improved this year. Still, his physical frame will likely keep him from ever being positive on that end of the floor.
By contrast, Brown is a positive. For that matter, so is virtually everyone left in this Hawks rotation if they make this deal…
Young may be a subpar defender. The Celtics have exactly the roster to cover for him.
Between Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics have plenty of stopping power. On the other hand, they could use an upgrade in the playmaking department.
Tatum has improved there, but like Young on defense, he’s not likely to ever be elite. On the other hand, few players in the NBA have floor vision like Young. He’s one of the best passers in the game.
Finally, Brown is due to hit free agency soon. The Celtics can’t be sure they’ll retain him.”
In 2021, the Hawks and Young agreed to a lucrative five-year extension worth up to $207 million. With Young under contract long-term, Atlanta would be in good position to receive excellent value in a potential trade.
Brown signed a four-year, $115 million extension with the Celtics back in 2019. He is only under contract for one more year, so the C’s may be tempted to shop Brown if they aren’t able to work out a long-term extension soon.
The defending Eastern Conference champions enter play on Tuesday as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 49-23 record, 2.5 games behind the Bucks. Perhaps another deep playoff run will be enough for Boston to commit again to Brown long-term.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.