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.
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.
Report: Disconnect between Trae Young and Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce originally appeared on NBCSports.com