Specifically, Young was asked about Monday's report from The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, which indicated that Atlanta's front office has the been given the "green light" from ownership to consider trading Young.
No one from Atlanta Hawks' ownership or the front office has told Trae Young he could be traded, but "stuff like that comes out all the time," [Young] told The Athletic on Tuesday.
"It could be false, could be true, you never know," Young said.
When asked by The Athletic if these Play-In games felt bigger, as though they could affect Young's fate with the Hawks, he said: "It's hard – you can't look at it.
"Especially as the player in the moment, you can't look at what's gonna come on next year," Young said. "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."
This isn't the first time we've heard noise about Young potentially being traded. From O'Connor's report:
This should come as no real surprise considering what's transpired over the course of the season. In March, Hawks owner Tony Ressler told The Athletic's Jeff Schultz he's neither opening nor closing the door on any players being moved.
Months earlier, Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported on escalating tensions between Young and former head coach Nate McMillan, leading to team meetings and questions about Young's leadership. Players reportedly sided with the coach over their star player.
Things got so ugly that TNT's Chris Haynes reported that Young could request a trade this summer if the Hawks fail to make "inroads" in the playoffs.
This is where we're at with many star players these days. They don't want to take any of the responsibility for when things don't go as planned. Instead of committing to more off-ball movement or actually playing some defense, things that would take Atlanta, a talented team, to an entirely different level, Young would, according to the Haynes report referenced, apparently rather just go somewhere else and let the narrative reflect that Atlanta couldn't provide him with the necessary ingredients to compete with the big boys.
To O'Connor's point, Atlanta might decide to move on from him whether Young wants to go or not. Another deep playoff run might be required to put these rumors to bed, but can lightning strike twice?
You can point to Atlanta's surprise 2021 conference finals run as evidence that Young can lead a team deep into the playoffs, but we've seen enough evidence over these last two years to reasonably conclude that was probably more of a fortunate-matchup fluke. The Knicks were an extremely flawed, limited four-seed. The Sixers and Ben Simmons came apart at the seams in real time.
For the Hawks, it would be a bitter pill to swallow to trade Young. They traded Luka Doncic to get him, for crying out loud. But that was another regime. Neither Quin Snyder nor Landry Fields had anything to do with that decision.
These guys are looking at this postseason as an extension of what has basically been an extended tryout since Snyder took over. Who figures into future plans? Who doesn't? If the Hawks don't make anything of another playoff opportunity, and deem Young as a more valuable trade asset than a franchise player, then they'll trade him. And honestly, it might not be the worst move.