Trae Young's dad, Ray Young, expressed his frustration with analyst Kevin O'Connor who implied nobody would want the former in a trade. Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes reported that rival executives believe the Atlanta Hawks guard could be the next star player to ask for a move if the team fails in playoffs.
O'Connor reacted to those rumors and called Trae out for being a defensive liability and not adjusting to an off-the-ball role alongside new teammate Dejounte Murray, who is also an excellent facilitator. Here's what he wrote on Twitter:
"Trae Young is an elite playmaker but has shown no willingness to excel off-ball next to another shot-creator in Dejounte Murray. And he’s a small defender that gets targeted by offenses. A ton of teams already have good PGs. A genuine question: Which teams would really want Trae?"
Young's dad responded to O'Connor's comments denying that Young wants to move from Atlanta. Here's what he said:
"This is what sucks about pro ball these days. Although I like Kevin’s stuff, now there’ll be articles on Trae like this…just because 'rival execs' believe something! Trae doesn’t talk to other teams. He’s busy trying to win in Atlanta. Will this ever end?"
Kevin O'Connor justified his comments later, saying that if Trae plays defense as he did in college and plays off the ball, his fit alongside Dejounte Murray would be solid, and the rumors would go away. Ray Young responded positively, claiming he's an "old school dad."
Click here to read trade rumors reported by Chris Haynes about Trae Young.
Trae Young remains key to Atlanta Hawks' success
Trae Young was integral to the Atlanta Hawks' return as perennial playoff contenders. He led the team to a historic Conference Finals run two seasons ago. The Hawks faltered in the first round against the Miami Heat last year.
They needed another All-Star caliber player and acquired Dejounte Murray, who Young reportedly wanted to play alongside. 32 games into the season, the Hawks have a .500 record and are ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta lacks the chemistry they had during the 2021 playoffs. However, when two All-Stars play together for the first time, there's bound to be some struggle early on. It could be the case with Young and Murray. Both players are excellent on the ball and are two of the league's best playmaking guards.
They need to find the right balance between taking charge with the ball in their hands. The attention they demand defensively as individual players is tremendous, something they can take advantage of if their chemistry is solid.
Trae Young has been the lead ball-handler since joining the team. He has been used to being the primary option since he came into the league, so somewhere it's him who will need to take a step back and adjust. Due to his shooting skills, he could cause problems with his off-ball movement, akin to Steph Curry, who has mastered this skill.
The Hawks' offense would be more dynamic than ever. It would also enable Dejounte Murray to play more freely.