Atlanta Hawks: Comparing Rookie Trae Young & Kevin Huerter to Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 5
Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Kevin Huerter & Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson’s rookie year of 2011-12 laid the blueprint for today’s three-and-D archetype, though it must be noted that his advanced defensive numbers pale in comparison to his offensive contributions for the Warriors.

Thompson was a high-usage maven in his final few years in college, and that on-ball ability translated immediately in his rookie season. Thompson’s 24.7 percent usage rate was 9 percent higher than Kevin Huerter’s 15.7 percent usage rate.

Beyond that, though, the two players’ advanced statistical numbers according to Basketball Reference are almost identical: True shooting percentage (Klay’s 54.5% vs. Huerter’s 53.3%), defensive rebound rate (Huerter’s 9.7% vs. Thompson’s 9.6%), assist rate (Huerter’s 14.5% vs. Thompson’s 14.2%) are all within a few percentage points of one another as are steal rate, block rate and total rebound rate.

Notably, Huerter actually played more total minutes and minutes per game than Thompson did in the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, yet Thompson was able to use his innate scoring ability to produce more points per game in less minutes than Huerter (12.5 PPG vs. 9.7 PPG).

Much like Young & Curry, though, Huerter attempted over 80 more three-pointers than Thompson did total on a sky-high 53.7 three-point attempt rate (compared to Thompson’s 37.3 percent clip in that category).