Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young & Luka Doncic Should Be Co-Rookies of the Year

Trae Young #11 and Luka Doncic #77 Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 and Luka Doncic #77 Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Luka Doncic & Trae Young Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Why Trae Can’t Win It Outright

Try as I might, there really is no case to have Trae Young as the sole Rookie of the Year winner. Even though Trae has had a tremendous year and has outplayed Luka since the start of 2019, there is just no way a formerly 19-year-old rookie that is producing in the way that Luka is producing cannot win at least a share of the Rookie of the Year award.

Just so we have it, Luka is averaging 21 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 32.2 minutes per game with a 54.4 percent true shooting percentage per Basketball Reference. The only other rookie in NBA history to produce more than 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game is Oscar Robertson… and that’s it.

Clearly, Luka deserves all of that praise that has been heaped upon him, but for some reason, many basketball “experts” and writers believe that the Rookie of the Year award has been all but decided, but here’s the thing: Since the start of the 2019 calendar year, Trae Young is clearly and undeniably the better offensive player.

Caveat: Luka is clearly a better defensive player, but that can easily be tied to his much larger size compared to Trae Young. While Luka’s IQ is sky-high and he is clearly a basketball savant, size is something that can’t be taught, and thus Young suffers in that category. Either way, defense likely does not matter that much for this award in any event.

Let’s take a look at some numbers for Trae Young compared to Luka Doncic since January 1, 2019 to underscore why the Rookie of the Year should not end before the All-Star break – as seemingly many pundits believe it did.