Trae Young

Pincus’ Latest: VanVleet, Rozier, Russell, Conley, More

There’s a huge market for Fred VanVleet if the Raptors decide to trade him, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

The 28-year-old guard will be a free agent this summer if he turns down a $22.8MM player option, which Pincus says many league insiders expect to happen. VanVleet can negotiate an extension with Toronto through June 30, but the Raptors could try to move him before the deadline if they aren’t confident about reaching a new deal.

Pincus hears that the Heat, Lakers, Clippers, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Suns and Wizards would be among the most interested teams if VanVleet is made available. He also throws in the Magic, who are seeking an experienced lead guard to play alongside their young core.

The Raptors will want a premium price if they decide to part with VanVleet, Pincus adds, with some combination of young talent, draft assets and players on team-friendly contracts.

Pincus looks at a few other guards who could be changing teams before the deadline:

  • With the Hornets near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, they may be willing to consider trading Terry Rozier, who has three more years and nearly $75MM left on his contract. Pincus notes that Charlotte discussed dealing Rozier to the Lakers last offseason and points out that Marc Stein recently identified the Suns as a possible suitor.
  • Pincus hears that the Heat, Suns, Mavericks and Clippers would all be interested in trading for D’Angelo Russell if the Timberwolves can’t reach an extension soon with the impending free agent.
  • Pincus lists the Lakers, Clippers and Timberwolves as teams in the market for Mike Conley if the Jazz decide to part with their veteran point guard. Conley has a $14.32MM guarantee on his $24.4MM salary for next season and would be much cheaper to acquire than Van Vleet.
  • Eric Gordon is attracting interest from the Suns, Lakers and Bucks, but Pincus believes the Rockets may not get the first-round pick they want in return. He suggests Houston might have to settle for a pick swap, using the 2023 first-rounder the team is owed from Milwaukee.
  • The Lakers haven’t given up trying to trade Russell Westbrook, but Pincus says they’re not willing to part with their two available first-round picks unless they get a star in return. He adds that L.A. may focus on smaller deals involving Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker in an effort to find wing depth or a backup big man.
  • The Hawks aren’t looking to move Trae Young now, but a source tells Pincus that it could be a consideration during the offseason. Young has clashed with coach Nate McMillan, and Atlanta’s overall turmoil may lead the team to seek a fresh start.

Hawks Rumors: McMillan, Young, Schlenk, Collins

It’s becoming increasingly likely that this will be Nate McMillan‘s final season as head coach of the Hawks, according to Lauren Williams and Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sources tell the authors that a player agent was informed that McMillan won’t be returning in a recent meeting with team owner Tony Ressler and his son, manager of basketball and business operations Nick Ressler.

Star guard Trae Young has been involved in disputes with McMillan, although their relationship has reportedly been smoother since an incident that was highly publicized in early December. Williams and Vivlamore hear from several sources that McMillan has considered resigning (as previously reported), but team officials were able to talk him out of it. When asked for a response, McMillan said he is focused on the playoff race and will delay any decisions on his future until after the season.

New head of basketball operations Landry Fields and Kyle Korver, who is finalizing a deal to become assistant general manager, both denied talking to agents about the team’s plans for McMillan.

“We’ve got half a season (left),” Fields said. “That’s a lot of basketball. There’s been transition. There’s been stories that come out. There’s been so much investment that we have to have today to think about beyond this season. It’s not just like Nate, it’s with a lot of different people. Like for us, how are we thinking about ourselves going forward?

“To start to live into that space without honoring this space would be unfair for everyone involved — Nate, myself, Kyle included — like, that’s somewhere. We believe in Nate right now. He’s for us. He’s trying to do things in this whole transition of leadership that are hard. They’re hard for everyone. So having this partnership right now for the objectives that we have for this continued season is our only focus.”

There’s more on the Hawks, all from Williams and Vivlamore:

  • The relationship between Young and former president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk deteriorated over the past few months, leading to Schlenk’s decision to move into an advisory role in December, according to the authors’ sources. They add that even though Schlenk is listed as a senior advisor, he’s had no actual input into the organization since stepping down, confirming a recent Sam Amick report. The dispute reportedly began after Game 2 of last season’s playoff series when Young chartered a private flight home from Miami without telling anyone from the team. He was subsequently fined.
  • Several controversial personnel decisions led to the front office shakeup, sources tell Williams and Vivlamore. Among them was a John Collins trade last season that was ultimately vetoed by ownership. Other moves include the trade of Kevin Huerter to the Kings made just to avoid the luxury tax, the high price the team paid to the Spurs for Dejounte Murray, the signing of Aaron Holiday, who was Nick Ressler’s teammate in high school, and the trade of Luka Doncic to the Mavericks after drafting him in 2018.
  • The Hawks are focused on portraying an atmosphere of stability amid all the recent changes, Williams and Vivlamore add. The organization is looking for a new uniform sponsor and doesn’t want to scare away a potential advertiser with any appearance of turmoil.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Heat, Banchero, Magic, Beal

Hawks point guard Trae Young was ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Brooklyn due to a left calf contusion, per Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Starting small forward De’Andre Hunter will also be sidelined for the second straight game with a left ankle sprain.

Young, who is averaging 27.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 9.9 APG on .414/.316/.896 shooting through 31 games, was injured in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss to Indiana, which dropped the Hawks to 17-17 on the season.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Heat stars Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) and Bam Adebayo (illness) were both out for Monday’s victory over the Wolves, but were back in action for Wednesday’s game against the Lakers, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscriber link). However, point guard Kyle Lowry was ruled out for personal reasons, the first time he’s missed a game with that designation in 2022/23 after missing extended time last season due to personal reasons. Gabe Vincent was moved into the starting lineup in Lowry’s place, Winderman adds.
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra suggested that backup center Dewayne Dedmon could miss an extended period of time for the Heat as he continues to be hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Winderman writes in another subscriber-only story for The Sun Sentinel. “There’s no point in resting him and then if we’re going to be right back to where he is where we’re managing it every single day,” Spoelstra said. “He would like to put it behind you. I don’t know necessarily if he’ll be able to fully put it behind him the way Gabe [Vincent] was with the week or two weeks rest. But our hope is that it will be a lot better than it was.” Still, being down Adebayo and Dedmon on Monday showed the that Heat might have decent depth in the middle, with rookies Nikola Jovic and Orlando Robinson capably filling in, according to Winderman, who notes that Omer Yurtseven shouldn’t be overlooked going forward either, despite being sidelined following ankle surgery.
  • The Magic have won eight of their past 10 games, and No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero has played a big part in their recent surge, as Kelly Iko of The Athletic details. The 6’10” forward says he’s hoping for both team and individual success for the rest of ’22/23. “Hopefully we can make the playoffs or the play-in, get there and win Rookie of the Year. That’s my goal,” he said. The Magic currently trail the Raptors by two-and-a-half games for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
  • Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who exited Tuesday’s win over Philadelphia with left hamstring soreness, likely won’t be out for long, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Beal was officially ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Phoenix (Twitter link via Ava Wallace of The Washington Post), but Charania says he is considered day-to-day and could be back for Friday’s contest in Orlando.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Houstan, Young, Kuzma

The Magic are in the midst of their best nine-game stretch in more than a decade, but there’s no single reason why it’s happening, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando has moved into the race for the play-in tournament by winning eight of its last nine games, and head coach Jamahl Mosley believes everything he’s been trying to teach his young players over the past two seasons is taking hold.

“We’ve been saying it from the beginning: understanding we’re close (and) getting over the hump,” Mosley said. “You just have to stick with that process. The growth, understanding those close games and what those mean later on in the season. It’s just the belief system these young men are starting to grow into.”

The Magic own the NBA’s second-best rating in clutch situations and have started winning tight games that they couldn’t close out earlier in the season. Orlando is also among the league’s top seven teams in both offensive and defensive rating during the last two and a half weeks.

“As a young team, sometimes we can get caught up in ‘Oh, we won a certain amount of games. Let’s get comfortable,’” said Wendell Carter Jr., who returned to the lineup Friday after missing more than a month. “I feel like the biggest thing for us is to continue to do what got us here. Not to change the formula or too many things. Just do what got us to this point.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic have considered sending Caleb Houstan to the G League to get more playing time, tweets Aaron Goldstone of Orlando Pinstriped Post. The rookie small forward has appeared in 22 of the team’s 34 games.
  • Trae Young‘s father responded to a recent article by Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report speculating about Young’s future in Atlanta and a tweet by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggesting the Hawks guard isn’t willing to play off the ball alongside Dejounte Murray. “Although I like Kevin’s stuff, now there’ll be articles on Trae like this just because ‘rival execs’ believe something!” Ray Young tweeted. “Trae doesn’t talk to other teams. He’s busy trying to win in Atlanta. Will this ever end?”
  • With their roster almost fully healthy, the Wizards understand they have to start producing to prevent a shakeup at the trade deadline, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “It’s tough for you to make decisions without a healthy team, and we’ve got to make up some ground,” Kyle Kuzma said. “We’ve been injured a lot, but we’ve got a chance to rewrite some things. The trade deadline is in six weeks, and everyone in this locker room knows about that.”

Haynes’ Latest: Young, DeRozan, Clarkson, Wood, Winslow, GPII

Rival executives believe Trae Young could be the next star player to make a trade request if the Hawks don’t “make inroads” in the playoffs, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020/21 as the No. 5 seed, Atlanta was eliminated by Miami in the first round of last year’s playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Haynes writes that Young encouraged Atlanta’s front office to deal for guard Dejounte Murray in the offseason, but their partnership has been a little shaky thus far, with the Hawks currently sitting with a 16-16 record, the No. 9 seed in the East.

Young is under contract through at least 2025/26 (he has a player option in ’26/27) after signing a maximum-salary rookie scale extension in the 2021 offseason, so he seemingly wouldn’t have much leverage if he does request a trade down the line. It also wouldn’t exactly be a good look from an optics standpoint considering he pushed for the Murray acquisition.

The Hawks recently made a major change to the top of their basketball operations department, with former president Travis Schlenk moving into a role as a senior advisor, and GM Landry Fields taking his place as the head of basketball operations. A source tells Haynes that Fields meets with the team’s star point guard regularly and the two have a “great relationship.”

Rival teams are keeping a close eye on Atlanta’s situation, particularly with the rumored tension between Young and head coach Nate McMillan. Haynes states that Fields has ownership’s green light to upgrade the roster, but thus far hasn’t found any takers for forward John Collins.

Here’s more from Haynes:

  • Another star player rival executives believe could request a trade in the offseason is DeMar DeRozan, who will earn $28.6MM next season in the final year of his contract. Like the Hawks, the Bulls have dealt with their own on-court dysfunction, currently sitting with a 13-18 record, the No. 11 seed in the East. The Bulls were the No. 6 seed last season after finishing 46-36 (they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Milwaukee), so they’d have to go 33-18 the rest of the way to just to match that mark, which seems improbable at the moment. Haynes says that playing on an expiring deal is a “non-starter for most high-caliber players” and suggests that DeRozan is likely to seek an extension or ask out if the Bulls don’t improve. However, he did just enter free agency in the 2021 offseason after playing on an expiring contract with San Antonio, and was notoriously loyal with Toronto, so it’s unclear if this is report is just speculation from Haynes (and rival teams) or something the five-time All-Star is actually considering.
  • League sources tell Haynes that Jordan Clarkson and his agents are engaged in contract extension talks with the Jazz. However, Haynes says it’s not a lock that a new deal gets signed and Clarkson might enter free agency instead, which would require him to turn down his $14.3MM player option for ’23/24. A couple of reporters wrote last month that Clarkson was more likely to be extended than traded by the Jazz.
  • The Mavericks haven’t made Christian Wood available in trade talks, but according to Haynes, some rival teams think that might change soon. Haynes notes that Wood is playing on a $14.3MM expiring deal and is eligible for a four-year, $77MM extension in a couple days, but his fit in Dallas hasn’t been what either side was hoping for. Wood’s points, rebounds and minutes are down from the past couple seasons, and he has only started four of 29 games, with head coach Jason Kidd citing defensive concerns as the reason for the big man’s somewhat reduced role.
  • Justise Winslow suffered a left ankle injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Thunder and is expected to undergo an MRI, sources tell Haynes. The Trail Blazers forward is an unrestricted free agent in 2023 and is a rotation regular for Portland. On the bright side, Blazers guard Gary Payton II hopes to make his season debut next week, per Haynes, which is in line with a report last week from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

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.

Eastern Notes: Horford, Young, Heat, Duarte, Brown

Celtics veteran big man Al Horford will rejoin the team on Friday, Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets. Horford has been away from the C’s for personal reasons following a stint in the league’s health and safety protocols. Horford, who signed a two-year extension at the beginning of the month, hasn’t played since Dec. 4.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Hawks star guard Trae Young has been fined $25K for throwing the game ball into the spectator stands, Adam Zagoria of tweets. The incident occurred at the end of the Hawks’ 123-122 overtime win over the Bulls on Sunday. Young was inactive against Memphis on Monday.
  • The struggles of Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson have taken some of the shine off the Heat’s vaunted development program but all is not lost, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes. Caleb Martin has developed from a two-way prospect to a steady rotation player and the development program has other potential success stories in Omer Yurtseven, Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain.
  • Pacers wing Chris Duarte joined the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants for practice on Monday and he’ll play for Fort Wayne against the Wisconsin Herd on Wednesday and Friday, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Duarte is working his way back from a Grade 2 ankle sprain suffered in early November.
  • Pacers rookie forward Kendall Brown is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his right tibia, according to Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. Brown will be reevaluated by the team in two weeks. Brown, a second-round pick, is one of the team’s two-way players. He’s appeared in six games with the Pacers.

Community Shootaround: Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks made a major trade in the offseason, dealing away unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2027, a first-round pick swap in 2026, and Charlotte’s 2023 protected first-rounder to acquire All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray from the Spurs. Atlanta started the season strong, winning seven of 10 games, but has gone just 6-10 since and now sits at .500 (13-13).

A second trade received fewer headlines, but it was still significant, because they moved off Kevin Huerter‘s contract in order to dip under the luxury tax, and he was an important floor-spacer and ball-mover for Atlanta. The main player they received in return, Justin Holiday, has not been very effective, while Huerter is having a career year for the Kings.

As ESPN’s Zach Lowe noted in his “10 Things” column today (Insider link), the fit between Murray and star point guard Trae Young has been a little shaky thus far. Young opened the season actively moving without the ball, which is key with two ball-dominant players sharing the floor, but has basically abandoned it since. Lowe believes “something is off with the Hawks,” and there’s a chance that their season “could teeter into instability.”

As John Hollinger of The Athletic writes, the Hawks’ record doesn’t look too far off external expectations, but he also thinks “there is an impending sense that not all is well.” He lists several reasons for that, including Young’s reported tiff with head coach Nate McMillan last week and a worrisome shot profile (29th in 3PTA and 29th in 3PT%), among others.

According to Hollinger, perhaps the biggest factor in that “sense” has been Young’s poor start to the 2022/23 season. His counting stats look great — he’s averaging 27.5 points and 9.5 assists through 23 games. However, he’s shooting career lows of 47.0% on twos and 28.9% on threes, and until that changes, league observers will be keeping a close eye on the Hawks and what they might do at the trade deadline.

Entering Friday’s back-and-forth loss at Brooklyn, the Hawks ranked 21st in the league in offense, which a major drop-off — they were second last season. The defense has improved substantially, going from 26th up to 12th, but they still have a negative net rating (-1.0) despite being a .500 team.

With Murray expected to be sidelined for the next two weeks with a sprained ankle, and starting forwards De’Andre Hunter (hip) and John Collins (ankle) still sidelined, the spotlight will be on McMillan and Young to keep the Hawks afloat, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Amick notes that Murray did his part last week when Young and the two forwards were out against Denver, leading the team to a surprising victory with 34 points and eight assists. Amick makes the case that Murray has been more important to Atlanta’s success this season than Young, recording a +6.5 net rating versus Young’s +1.5.

Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s return to the lineup should help the shooting numbers stabilize and take some pressure off Young — he’s a career 38.2% marksman from deep on high volume, and has only played four games after offseason knee surgery. But there are still major depth question marks aside from the fit concerns, particularly at guard and forward.

This year’s first-round pick, wing AJ Griffin, has played well overall, but he’s only 19 years old and having a rookie as a key rotation piece is a little worrisome for a team hoping to contend. Last year’s first-rounder, forward Jalen Johnson, has looked pretty rough around the edges in his first real chances at extended playing time.

We want to know what you think. Are you concerned about the Hawks? Do you get the feeling that “something is off,” like Lowe and Hollinger? Or do you think they just need to get healthy and have more time to adjust? Is the roster good enough to contend as constructed? If changes are needed, what do you think they should do?

Head to the comments section and let us know what you think of the Hawks and their chances for the rest of the season.

Hawks’ Dejounte Murray Out Two Weeks With Left Ankle Sprain

5:41pm: The Hawks have officially announced Murray’s injury, confirming that he will miss at least two weeks (Twitter link).

2:13pm: Murray is expected to miss two weeks due to the injury, sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).

12:40pm: Hawks guard Dejounte Murray will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the left ankle sprain (Twitter link) that caused him to exit yesterday’s loss in New York after only four minutes of action, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Fellow starting guard Trae Young missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, per Williams. The Hawks are waiting to see if he recovers in time to play in tomorrow’s game at Brooklyn.

Atlanta is already down two starters at the moment. Power forward John Collins out at least one more week with his own left ankle sprain, while small forward De’Andre Hunter is dealing with a right hip flexor strain.

Hunter was set to be reevaluated today and was a partial participant in practice, according to Williams (Twitter link). His status for Friday’s game is unclear.

The Hawks traded two unprotected first-round picks (2025 and 2027), an unprotected pick swap (2026), and Charlotte’s 2023 top-16 protected first-rounder to acquire Murray, a first-time All-Star last season with the Spurs. Through 25 games in 2022/23 (35.6 minutes), he’s averaging 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals on .452/.366/.836 shooting for the 13-12 Hawks.

McMillan: I Never Told Trae To Not Show Up

Hawks coach Nate McMillan denies he told star guard Trae Young not to show up for Friday’s game, according to Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A report from The Athletic on Sunday stated that McMillan and Young had a disagreement prior to the team’s shootaround while Young was getting treatment for a shoulder injury. The report indicated that McMillan, unhappy Young didn’t participate in the shootaround, told Young he could either play off the bench that night or not show up to the arena. Young reportedly chose the latter, with the team officially ruling his absence against the Nuggets due to right shoulder soreness.

Prior to Monday’s game against Oklahoma City, McMillan disputed that account.

“The one thing that I do want to respond (to), there was something said about me, telling Trae to not show up for a game,” he said. “I will never ever, and have never ever told a player not to show up for a game. Okay, that’s just false.”

McMillan also expressed irritation that details of his disagreement with Young became public.

“There is something happening every single day that we have to address and manage and a situation happened, that is private. Okay, it’s private,” he said. “It’s no different than any other day for me, in our group and a story was leaked about that situation. You know, those are things that we don’t normally talk about or address. You know, things happen with our players on a bus, on the plane in the hotels. I mean, we’re together a lot. We’re family.”

McMillan said he and his star player and “moving forward” from the situation. Young is back in action against the Thunder.

“Trae is a very competitive kid,” McMillan said. “He understands. He understands. We both want the same thing and that is to win games. And, again, things are gonna happen. We’re not going to agree on everything. I mean, that happens in your family, too, right? There’s not the perfect situation. And he’s going to be fine. He’s a 24-year-old man that has a lot of talent. He wants to win big. I want to win big. And we’re going to continue to work on ways to try to make that happen.”

Young addressed the dispute earlier in the day and was also disappointed that the matter became public.