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NBA News: All-Star Guard Likely Out For a Month Due to Injury

Feb 23, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) disputes a call with official Justin Van Duyne (64) before being called for a technical foul during the game against the Toronto Raptors during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Atlanta Hawks will be without 2024 NBA All-Star Trae Young for the foreseeable future due to injury. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Young will undergo left finger surgery and be re-evaluated in four weeks.

The 24-32 Hawks are currently the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. The team will likely be without their best player for the bulk of their second-half playoff push.

On the season, Young is averaging 26.4 points and 10.8 assists per game. Furthermore, the sixth-year guard is shooting 42.6% from the field, including 37.1% from the three-point line.

NBA News: All-Star Guard Likely Out For a Month Due to Injury

How Will the Atlanta Hawks Replace Trae Young?

To put it directly, losing Young for any period of time is a tough blow for Atlanta. This season, Young has missed five games. In those games, the Hawks are 2-3. As it stands, the Hawks would occupy the final Play-In spot if the season ended today. With them being on the playoff bubble, losing Young, in theory, hurts their chances of advancing to the postseason. Additionally, with the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline having come and gone, Atlanta’s ability to replace Young in the meantime is limited. Fortunately for them, Dejounte Murray is still there and averaging a career-high 21.5 points per game this season. With Young being out, the Hawks may move Murray to point guard and let him run the offense until Young returns.

On the flip side, the Hawks could be active in the buyout market. Some guards the Hawks could sign include Cory Joseph, Danny Green, Ish Smith, and Frank Ntilikina. While none of these players are game-changing, it could be worth it for the Hawks to sign a guard who has league experience. This is especially true if the Hawks can remain in the playoff picture for this season.

The Last Word on Trae Young’s Injury

Though it is unlikely, it would not be the biggest surprise if the Hawks can still qualify for at least a Play-In spot. Currently, they are three games ahead of the No. 11 seed Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, it is possible Young will return to the floor before the season ends.

What may be the most intriguing story here is what this means for Young’s future in Atlanta. Recently, Young has been subject to trade rumors, linking him to teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. The Oklahoma alum acknowledged these rumors and spoke about his mindset following the 2024 NBA All-Star Game:

“It’s this type of league where things change and things happen, but obviously my mindset is staying in Atlanta right now, I don’t get caught up in the rumors and all that stuff, my contract is locked in for a couple of years and I don’t have very much to say about it right now,” Young added.

If the Hawks miss the playoffs, it likely increases Young’s chances of playing somewhere else next season. It will be interesting to see how far the Hawks can go without their star.

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© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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