Grade the Trade: Raptors join Trae Young deal, add former All-Star in new proposal

The Toronto Raptors can get creative this summer in joining 3-team trades, such as this one involving Trae Young and the Lakers.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Laying out the Trae Young trade

The Atlanta Hawks appear to have finally learned the lesson that outsiders could have taught them years ago: Trae Young cannot thrive alongside another point guard. He is a high-volume on-ball player, and his lackluster loafing around the court when he doesn’t have the ball evokes less Stephen Curry and more James Harden.

The Hawks need to trade either Young or Dejounte Murray, and given that Murray is significantly less expensive over the next four seasons and that the team played its best basketball of the season when Young was out due to injury, it would make a lot of sense for them to move on from Young, even if he is the player with a higher ceiling and a longer connection to the city of Atlanta.

Trading either player will require a trade partner, and it’s true that Young will have a smaller market to work with; fewer teams need a heliocentric ball handler. At the same time, his passing and long-range shooting are incredibly valuable to winning teams, and a number of them could talk themselves into trading for Trae Young.

One of those teams is the Los Angeles Lakers, who enter the summer with three first-round picks and a ticking clock on LeBron James’s prime. If LeBron is sticking around the Lakers need to maximize his remaining window, and that likely means putting those picks on the table to take a big swing. Trae Young certainly qualifies.

At the same time, the Lakers almost have to include D’Angelo Russell in the deal, both to match salary and because Young and Russell cannot coexist in the same backcourt. Yet why would the Atlanta Hawks want Russell back, since he and Murray would just replicate a similar issue as Young and Murray.

That’s where the Toronto Raptors come in, a third team able to take back Russell because they aren’t as focused on maximizing the fit of the roster for 2024-25. That construction — Young to the Lakers, Russell to the Raptors — was suggested by Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report. Here is what the deal looks like altogether:

Lakers Hawks Raps 3-teamer

The Lakers would add Trae Young and Kelly Olynyk, juicing their offense and giving them a variety of front court options between LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Olynyk. The Raptors take on some money for next season and in exchange get a second-round pick and a lucrative first-round pick swap for 2030. The Hawks get back a package of draft picks centered around Austin Reaves and matching salary. 

Would each team agree to this deal?