Atlanta Hawks 2018 Draft Pick Profile: Trae Young

NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 17: Trae Young
NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 17: Trae Young /

One of the most polarizing players in this draft, Trae Young was the darling of the basketball world early in the NCAA season and he captured the attention of the sports world at large – something that college basketball players rarely tend to do.

Of course, the greater public soured on him after he stopped putting up 40+ points with shocking consistency, but Young still finished the season as the NCAA leader in points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game.

Young clearly made the case that he can run an offense in the NBA, as he had to do pretty much everything himself on an Oklahoma team that was lacking in talent at every other position. Young’s do-everything game shows in his immense 37.1 usage percentage, which was the 7th-highest in the NCAA over the past decade.

The Hawks need a gifted scorer and that is something Young definitely projects to be. His shooting ability in particular would be a tremendous boon for the Hawks, who were only middle of the pack in terms of three-point efficiency – shooting 36 percent as a team in 2017-18.

Young shot 36 percent himself from deep, but he was pulling up from near half-court on some possessions, and he would provide the Hawks with the kind of shooting gravity that the team lacked when Dennis Schröder was acting as a pick-and-roll ballhandler.

Another area where the Hawks suffered was passing. Any observers watching the Hawks play would notice that the team does not have willing, intelligent and creative passers – unless Josh Magette was in the game.

Young would change all that, as he had an insane 48.5 assist percentage in the 2017-18 season, which was first in the country. That number is ridiculous and approached Russell Westbrook-ian numbers in that stat.

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Though Young’s defense is truly frightening, his offensive upside is so tempting that the Hawks should be willing to take a flyer on a gifted prospect like Young, who would immediately bring national attention as well as a proven points and assists man to Atlanta.