Trae Young had an incredible sophomore season and capped it off with his first (of likely many) All-Star appearances. Let’s review.
The Atlanta Hawks front office received a lot of blowback when they traded Luka Doncic for Trae Young and the pick that eventually became Cam Reddish. However, that trade isn’t looking too bad after all. Both Trae Young and Luka Doncic were starters in this years All-Star game and they both may hold those spots for years to come.
Trae Young is unquestionably one of the best point guards in not only the Eastern Conference but the entire NBA.
This season Young averaged 29.6 points, 9.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game on shooting splits of .437/.361/.860. These are insane numbers for any NBA player let alone a guy in just his second NBA season!
While Trae Young still gets his fair share of criticism due to his abysmal defensive ability, he more than makes up for it on the offensive end. According to FiveThirtyEight, Trae Young’s defensive plus-minus is -3.7 which his by far the worst on the team and is the second-worst defensive plus-minus is the entire NBA, better than just one player, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton.
Although Trae is clearly one of the worst defenders in the entire NBA, as I mentioned, he more than makes up for it on the offensive end of the floor. He boasts an offensive plus-minus of +6.1, per FiveThirtyEight which is in the same realm of comparable All-Star point guards Stephen Curry (+7.1) and Damian Lillard (+6.9).
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Trae Young’s individual performance has yet to translate to any team success, however, I believe that could change very soon. With the emergence of young wings like Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter, paired with the addition of Clint Capela they could be in the playoffs as soon as next season.
In addition to Reddish, Hunter and Capela, the Hawks also have first-round pick this off-season which could net them another franchise-altering talent if they’re lucky.
Not to mention the fact that this was just Trae Young’s first All-Star season, he’s only going to get better. Obviously, Trae could work on improving on the defensive end, and I believe that will come with time. But it will be interesting to see how he can improve offensively.
The sky’s the limit for Trae Young, let’s hope he’s able to keep proving the doubters wrong and maybe one day he’ll be able to bring the Atlanta Hawks their second championship in franchise history.