Atlanta Hawks: How would James Harden trade impact the team, Trae Young?

James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
James Harden, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
James Harden, Trae Young (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Hawks questions: Will James Harden have as much scoring opportunity?

Let’s not forget just because he hasn’t played in an NBA game since March, Trae Young flirted with the top of the points per game leaderboard in 2019-20.

NBA points per game leaders, 2019-20

  1. James Harden 34.3
  2. Bradley Beal 30.5
  3. Damian Lillard 30.0
  4. Trae Young 29.6

If James Harden is on a team with Durant and Irving, as a for instance, he’s not scoring 34.3 points per game. In that scenario, there’s only one ball to go around and a lot of scoring power for each of those stars.

While Young would not be the foregone conclusion as scoring champion if Harden can’t score as much, it would make the road to the title a lot easier.

Bradley Beal is not going to score 30 points per game again with Russell Westbrook on his team.

Damian Lillard is probably the most likely competition for Young for scoring title if Harden dips down below 30.

Of course, you also have to ask, will Young have to score 30-ish points per game next year with the new talent the Hawks have?

I think that pace is still realistic for him. Yes, they got better, but much of their improvement came on the defensive side. They have better shooters and more polished offensive players now, but they’re almost all complementary or backups to Young. No one needs a high volume of shots to play well.