Southeast Notes: Young, McMillan, Collins, Wright, Beal, Oladipo

Hawks guard Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan both downplayed an alleged confrontation that occurred earlier this month, but there has been chatter that their relationship has gotten worse since then, according to Steve Bulpett of, who said one league executive referred to the situation in Atlanta as “toxic.”

“When they win, everybody’s happy for a minute,” one source told Bulpett. “But when they lose, it gets messy. Instead of trying to get it figured out, there’s a lot of blame being thrown around.”

According to Bulpett, one opposing coach said that Young and McMillan don’t like each other, and suggested that “other players have issues with Trae” as well.

“There were teams that questioned whether he’d ever be this good because of his size when he was coming out,” a front office source said of Young. “So it’s good to have that kind of fight in you. But at some point, you’d hope he’d realize the effect he can have on his team, both positive and negative. Sometimes you have to take a step back and maybe take a hit to make the whole thing work.”

Meanwhile, although John Collins‘ name has once again come up in trade rumors, sources who spoke to Bulpett pointed to the big man’s contract as a potential roadblock as the Hawks seek a trade partner. He’s still owed $78.5MM across three seasons after this one.

“He’s not a bad player. He’s actually a good player,” a source told Bulpett. “The problem is he’s not worth 23-and-a-half million. There are places he could go where he’d really be helping a team and really be happy, but right now that contract is in the way. We’ll see if anyone’s going to bite or if Atlanta’s going to make it worth another team’s while.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Asked on Tuesday if there’s a chance Delon Wright will return to action for the Wizards on Thursday, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. responded, “I hope so,” tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Wright has been on the shelf for nearly two months, but finally seems on the verge of being reactivated.
  • In a story for The Athletic, Robbins and Jovan Buha explore whether it’s realistic to think the Wizards and Lakers could work out a trade that sends Bradley Beal to Los Angeles for Russell Westbrook and draft picks. Robbins is skeptical, but points out that Beal’s no-trade clause will make it challenging for the Wizards to maximize the guard’s value if he ever wants to be dealt, since he could veto deals to unwanted destinations.
  • With several Heat regulars unavailable, Victor Oladipo made his first start of the year and played a season-high 34 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to Chicago. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel relays, head coach Erik Spoelstra made it clear after the game that he doesn’t intend to lean that heavily on Oladipo often as he continues to work his way back to 100%. “I wouldn’t have done this with Vic if it wasn’t clearly communicated with him and with the training staff and if we didn’t have two days after the last game, two days before the next game,” Spoelstra said.
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