“Trae Young has long been on Los Angeles’ radar, depending on how his situation unfolds in Atlanta,” Jovan Buha wrote.
Young, 24, has played five seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the Hawks franchise. He averaged 26.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 10.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game across 73 appearances during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts).
The 6-foot-1 floor general led the Hawks to a 41-41 record in the 2022-23 regular season, tied with the Toronto Raptors for the eighth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Unsurprisingly, the Hawks fared much better on their own home floor than on the road during the regular season, as they finished with a 24-17 home record and a subpar 17-24 road record.
Young and the Hawks won their first play-in tournament game against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat — who went on to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2023 NBA Finals — to secure the No. 7 seed in the conference and a first-round matchup against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics proved to be too talented of a team for the Hawks to beat four times in a seven-game series, though. Boston eliminated the Hawks in six games in the first round, but Young had himself an excellent series.
The point guard averaged 29.2 points, 10.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game for the series. Arguably Young’s best game of the Celtics series was Game 5. He scored a series-high 38 points — including 16 in the fourth quarter — and dished out 13 assists in a game the Hawks won in Boston by a final score of 119-117 to stave off elimination.
The Lakers would be wise to give the Hawks a call about trading for Young if he ever requests a trade out of Atlanta. After all, Young is a massive upgrade over both D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent and is one of the best point guards in the NBA. Here’s to hoping that Young will wear a Lakers jersey before his pro career is all said and done.