There appears to be some turmoil within the Hawks' organization.
Just two weeks after reports surfaced that Atlanta has begun to listen to trade offers for star forward John Collins, there seems to be more drama going on behind the scenes.
On Sunday, The Athletic's Shams Charania revealed that All-Star guard Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan "had an exchange at Friday's shootaround that led to Young choosing not to attend the team's home win over Denver."
The report adds another layer of tension growing within the franchise as the Hawks are fighting to stay among the top teams in the Eastern Conference just two seasons removed from a surprise trip to the Conference Finals.
For the latest on the exchange between Young and McMillan, The Sporting News has you covered below.
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Trae Young and Nate McMillan argument, explained
According to Charania, Young and McMillan's argument led to the All-Star guard choosing not to attend the Hawks' win over the Nuggets on Friday, Dec. 2.
Young was on the team's injury report with "right shoulder soreness" and McMillan told the media that he would miss the contest due to a "miscommunication."
Charania's latest report uncovered more details behind the situation, stating that Young and McMillan were at odds over the star guard's pregame treatment of his injury.
"While Young was receiving treatment on his right shoulder, sources say McMillan asked him whether he would participate in shootaround, receive treatment during walk-through and play in the game against the Nuggets," Charania's report stated.
"Young made it clear that he wanted to focus solely on his treatment while missing shootaround and deciding later in the day whether he would play. That approach, however, was not McMillan-approved. … McMillan ultimately presented him with two options for that night’s game, sources said: Play off the bench or do not show up to the arena.
"Young responded by saying he would not be playing against the Nuggets, and the team ruled him out while citing right shoulder soreness."
Despite a solid 13-10 start to the 2022-23 season, things have not been pretty in Atlanta. Between this latest report and the Collins trade rumors, the core group that went to the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago seems to be unraveling a bit.
Even with this heated exchange, Charania added that the Hawks will not take disciplinary action on Young and McMillan's job is safe, according to his sources.
Trae Young's response
At the Hawks' pregame shootaround on Monday, Young was asked about Sunday's leaked report.
"We're all grown men here and sometimes we don't always agree. It's unfortunate that private situations and private conversations get out to the public but I guess that's the world we live in now," Young started.
The reporter checked Young, stating, "What's public is you not at the game, so why weren't you there?"
Young responded, "It's hard for people who don't know the full situation to understand it. It's a private matter made public, which is unfortunate."
After another back-and-forth with the reporter, Young left it at, "A private matter needs to stay private."
You can watch the full exchange below.
"A private matter needs to stay private."— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) December 5, 2022
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young spoke to the media and elaborated on the reported tension between him and head coach Nate McMillan.
Trae Young and Nate McMillan contracts
After Young and McMillan led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, the franchise locked up both their All-Star guard and head coach with new contracts.
McMillan was promoted to interim head coach during the 2020-21 season after the team fired former head coach Lloyd Pierce. Midway through the season, the Hawks elected to drop the "interim" tag for McMillan, making him their full-time head coach.
Following Atlanta's success in the playoffs, it signed McMillan to a four-year deal, keeping him with the Hawks through the 2024-25 season.
As for Young, the face of the franchise signed a max contract extension during the 2021 offseason. The Hawks inked Young to a five-year, $207 million extension, keeping him in Atlanta through the 2026-27 season.
Charania's report indicated that the organization is aware that Young and McMillan have to "reinvigorate their relationship moving forward if the Hawks are going to become a true contender again."