The Hawks stunned the NBA world when they traded the youngest Euro League MVP ever, Luka Doncic for Trae Young and another first round pick in next year’s draft (top 5 protected). Many already are writing the Hawks off as losers by a land-slide in this trade. The critics of the trade and of Trae Young continued to grow as Trae struggled in the Summer League.
After the Utah Summer League, the Hawks ventured over to Vegas to continue their summer circuit. That’s when Trae Young proved to the NBA that his game can translate to the league. The shooting struggles were still there but perhaps his best ability, his passing, dazzled the crowds in Vegas. Finding open guys when there seemed to be no passing lane. He displayed his ability to make the big play when he led the Hawks from 25 down in the Summer League playoffs and was seemingly doing whatever he wanted to.
As the calendar flipped to the preseason, many were still questioning Young about how he can do against the “real” NBA players. Well, his passing again, dazzled everyone. Look back to the Pelicans game during the preseason. It was a pick-n-roll with John Collins. The Pelicans did a great job of not allowing a passing lane to Collins so what does Trae do? Lobs it off the top of the back board and lets John Collins slam it home. Then he threw a pass between a defenders legs during the Hornets game to Miles Plumlee who again slammed it home. Trae finished the preseason with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.45-1.
Trae Young did continue to struggle shooting the ball as his shooting percentage was just below 40%, but he shot the 3 ball at a 37% rate. The overall shooting percentage number will increase during the regular season once his shot selection improves a little and also starts getting close to the rim and using his deadly floater.
In the preseason game against the Spurs Trae Young was at his best. The game was tied at 125 late in the 4th, Trae Young drove to about 8 feet and used his floater to give the Hawks the lead. The Spurs tied it and the Hawks had one more chance to win it. Trae Young dribbles across mid court with time ticking down and the defender neevr really picked him up so he pulls up from about 30 feet and drills it. Trae Young very early on has flashed signs of his limitless potential and to have a knack to make the big play.
As the Hawks tip off their season tonight in Madison Square Garden, many eyes will be on the Hawks starting point guard. He will have his critics. People are almost wishing that he fails in the NBA. Why so much unfair criticism for a 20 year old? No idea, but it wont affect Trae as he just want to prove everyone wrong.
There will be many ups and downs for Trae Young as there are with every rookie. You will his bad times be highlighted more by the twitter world than his triumphs. You will be fooled into looking at just his shooting statistics on his off nights rather than looking at his impressive numbers in the assist column on those same nights.
Trae Young will be facing this criticism all season, but it will not affect him in the slightest. Young can easily lead all rookies in assists and scoring, just how he led the nation in scoring and assists as a freshman at Oklahoma. He will be the guy taking the bulk of the shots for the Hawks as he is already the best play maker on the team. He make the other players around him better and set them up for wide open shots or dunks multiple times a game.
Now, cool it with all the Steph Curry narratives for Trae Young and just let him make a name for himself.
By: Bret Anderson