It’s Not a Debate: Trae Young is a Superstar

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Defending Trae Young’s superstar status that’s been increasingly questioned of late.

Perhaps because it’s been over 100 days since Trae Young scored 27 points in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ final game of the season, but the Atlanta star point guard has been getting a laughable amount of flack across social media of late.

Many users (you know who you are) are downplaying Young’s star power based on two things: his defense and his team’s success. Yes, Trae Young is a bad defender – among the top-ten worst in the league – and the Hawks went 20-47 this year. But Young’s offensive game is so good, if not historically great, that if you can’t look past the downfalls to consider him a star, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

Trae’s second season was among the greatest sophomore campaigns in league history. He was near the top of the NBA leaders in both assists and points per game, among others. Only Harden had more free-throw makes, only LeBron had more assists, only three players (who will all be getting MVP consideration) had a higher usage rate, and only 11 players had a higher VORP.

Even advanced stats that take into account all aspects of a player’s game (yes, even defense) love Young. Andrew Kelly from Peachtree Hoops put together two graphs that were partially eye-opening.

First was a player impact vs. RAPTOR graph of all the 2019-2020 Atlanta Hawks players.

Yes, the Atlanta Hawks were bad this year, one of the worst teams in the league. But if you think their 20-47 record is indictive of Young’s play and not the roster around him, you’re simply being hard-headed.

The second was a chart of the same metrics comparing Young to other young points guards – all of whom will be in the playoffs this season, and if you asked mainstream NBA fans, a good handful would say are better than Young.

That’s Trae Young all the way at the top there.

I don’t mean this piece to come off as too snarky or salty, but the hate has to stop. Trae Young is a top-15 player in the league by all metrics, top-10 by some others. He is an NBA superstar, right now.

If you disagree, I don’t know what to tell you, but Trae summed it up best himself on Twitter today:

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