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Report: Trae Young Sat Out Hawks Game After Exchange with Nate McMillan over Injury

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 28: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 28, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young missed Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets after an exchange with head coach Nate McMillan that led to an ultimatum, per Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

According to the report, Young wanted to focus on treatment on his injured right shoulder while missing the pregame shootaround, planning to decide later in the day if he would play. McMillan responded by offering him a choice to either come off the bench or do not show up to the arena.

Young chose not to play and was ruled out because of shoulder soreness in what became a 117-109 win.

"It was just a miscommunication in that situation with Trae," McMillan said Sunday, per Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

There was no disciplinary action against Young, and he returned to practice Sunday. He is expected to return to the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

According to The Athletic, it's part of a larger issue for the Hawks after "multiple team meetings early this season to resolve various conflicts."

The Hawks are 13-10 in McMillan's third year with the team, fourth in the Eastern Conference, though expectations are high after acquiring All-Star Dejounte Murray in the offseason to pair with Young in the backcourt.

Young remains the go-to option averaging 27.8 points and 9.6 assists per game, while Murray has impressed with 21.4 points and 6.7 assists per game. Depth has been a question mark, however, after trading away Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari. The return of Bogdan Bogdanović will help, but John Collins is now expected to miss at least two weeks with an ankle injury, per Charania.

Adding locker room issues could only exacerbate the Hawks' problems going forward and put McMillan under pressure to keep things on track.