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Report: Disconnect between Trae Young and Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce

Trae Young and Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 30: Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks speaks tin Trae Young #11 during the second half of an NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at State Farm Arena on January 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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Trae Young – in his breakout year – has shown frustration during the Hawks’ 20-47 season.

Apparently, some of it has been toward Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic:

sources with knowledge of Young’s thinking have confirmed that his relationship with Pierce isn’t strong.

Young is the Hawks’ franchise player. If it comes to it, they’ll choose him over Pierce. Elite young talents like Young are difficult to acquire. Coaches are far more replaceable.

But Atlanta also ought to be careful about enabling Young’s bad habits.

Young is an inept defender. He can be too sloppy with the ball. His ball dominance can frustrate teammates.

Maybe all that improves as Young gains experience and the Hawks’ supporting cast improves. If Young doesn’t need to shoulder so much offensive load, perhaps he’ll defend more energetically. He’s just 21 and will probably see the floor better later. A superb passer, Young could distribute more quickly to better teammates – or at least learn how to make his teammates feel more connected.

But firing Pierce could send an implicit message that Young is doing everything right. There’s risk of instilling a losing culture.

Young is incredibly talented, especially for his age. He also must develop better winning habits. The Hawks’ challenge is finding the coach who’ll help Young do that.