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Is Trae Young playing on NBA Christmas Day?

The Hawks All-Star PG was placed into COVID protocols a few days prior. We go over his lineup status against the Knicks on Saturday.

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at State Farm Arena on December 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks head to the Big Apple to take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 12:30 p.m. ET on Christmas Day. This was supposed to be the grand return of Trae Young to MSG for the first time since the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Young taunted the crowd at the Garden in a five-game series win. Now, it’s looking unlikely we get the matchup we were promised. Let’s take a look at Young’s status heading into the game.

Trae Young lineup status: Christmas Day

Update — Young has been ruled out for Saturday’s game, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The Hawks have nine players in the league’s protocols, so this could be a rough showing for Atlanta.

Update — Young is not expected to play on Christmas Day against the Knicks, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Friday afternoon. So that answers our question. He simply doesn’t have enough time to clear protocols. It’s unfortunate but also out of Young’s control. So this matchup loses a lot of steam. Chances are this will be one of the least watched games on Christmas.

Young remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and it looks like he’ll miss this contest. Trae has publicly came out and said he’s asymptomatic, so we should rule him out just yet. There’s a chance Young is able to produce the negative tests in order to get clear in the next 24 hours. It’s a long-shot, but possible. So for now, we’ll leave his status up in the air.

We’ll also be awaiting word on a few other Hawks players, including C Clint Capela, PF Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. If all of those players are unable to go, the Hawks will be in a tough spot. G/F Cam Reddish is also day-to-day with a ankle/calf injury, so he could also be held out for ATL.