The Atlanta Hawks were about to play in a crucial NBA play-in tournament game on the road against the Miami Heat Monday night, and star point guard Trae Young was addressing trade rumors that have become a hot topic recently.
A report from The Ringer Monday indicated the Hawks’ front office has been given the “green light” to consider a Young trade.
But it was all business for Young before the game as he was about to face the Heat Monday night.
“It could be false, could be true. You never know,” Young said, via The Athletic.
Young added that rumors come out “all the time.” During the TNT broadcast of the Hawks-Heat game, it was reported Young was told by the Hawks the rumors were untrue.
Young has been a cornerstone for Atlanta since he was drafted fifth overall out of Oklahoma in the 2018 NBA Draft, reaching two All-Star Games and making the 2021-22 All-NBA roster in his five years with the team.
But the 2022-23 season has been a bit tumultuous for the Hawks despite finishing eighth in the east with the chance of playing in the first round of the NBA playoffs if they can win one of these play-in tournament games.
Head coach Nate McMillan was fired by the team, with Quin Snyder taking over for him in February. And rifts between McMillan and Young were documented throughout the year, with some questioning whether Young has the right leadership qualities for the locker room.
Still, Young plans on remaining in the moment and will focus on what may or may not happen in the offseason.
“After the game, if the game doesn’t go your way tonight, what’s gonna happen? Like, you can’t focus on things like that. That messes up your head, and then you’re not ready to play. So, me, I’m not worried about that. I’m gonna let my game play. After the season, whatever happens, happens. I mean, I’m focused on the next task at hand. I can’t worry about the outside noise or whatever fake stories come out, or what’s true, whatever.”
A 2021 playoff run by the Hawks did show, however, that Young can shoulder the load offensively.
Young signed a five-year, $215.2 million extension prior to the 2022-23 season.