Website ClutchPoints has outlined the top 5 candidates who might turn into draft busts in 2018-19. According to them, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks is on the list.
When the Atlanta Hawks made the decision to trade down in the NBA Draft to select Trae Young with the #5 overall pick, the decision was met with wildly varying reactions.
Many Hawks fans were excited about the addition of Young, as his name had long been rumored as a top candidate for the team. Others were put off by the myriad candidates available at the top of the draft – most notably European wunderkind Luka Doncic.
Clearly, Trae Young has a lot of upside, and he genuinely seems like a terrific person who is supremely excited about suiting up for the Atlanta Hawks – a franchise that has long lacked any significant star power.
However, one outlet does not trust Young’s impressive skill set honed at Oklahoma during a historic freshman season in which he led the entire country in points and assists, which was the first time that any player had accomplished that feat.
Though Williams does start the piece with a discussion of Young’s sky-high potential, as well as the possibility that he could turn into a generational superstar a la Stephen Curry, but he goes onto make the mistake of many Young bashers: having tunnel vision for his outside shot and not seeing the other skills he brings to the table.
According to the Williams ClutchPoints piece, “Young made his name off of volume in college and while he will get a ton of opportunities with the Hawks, he’ll have to improve his efficiency to be successful. Young will need to prove he can contribute in other ways and still be a factor when his shot isn’t falling. I have my doubts.”
While these are facts, the main skill that Ice Trae put forth in Summer League was his incredible feel and passing ability, which should immediately translate to the NBA. Young is also a gifted foul-drawer – something that the ClutchPoints piece does not mention.
Even if Young’s limitless range does not lead to made buckets early in his career, he should be able to carve out a niche as a Steve Nash-esque passing wizard who can get to the rim and drill triples when the need arises. That formula worked beautifully for two-time MVP Nash, so why not Ice Trae?
It’s clear that Trae Young still has his fair share of doubters, but as long as he approaches every day with his “another day, another opportunity” mindset, he should be able to find a lot of believers as well.