The Atlanta Hawks and their fans have known just how good Trae Young was for a long time. It took an unexpected trip to the Eastern Conference Finals to open the eyes of the NBA world at large. His incredible feats of last season were not washed out amid the struggles of the rest of the team.
In fact, in many ways, the Hawks’ lack of consistency around Young helped to elevate the fact that he led the NBA in total assists and total points last season.
He also earned his second All-NBA selection.
The Hawks’ playoff loss to the Miami Heat this year and the blockbuster trade for Dejounte Murray had some saying that Young is not as good as advertised. NBA GMs would seem to disagree.
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young voted 4th-best point guard by NBA GMs
John Schumann of NBA.com released the annual survey of general managers from around the league. This same exercise predicted the Hawks to finish fifth in the East; the same place they finished last season. Instead, they slid to ninth and had to battle through two rounds of the Play-In Tournament before their bout with Miami.
The dismantling of the Hawks attack soured plenty of hot takes on Young and did inspire the front office to make the blockbuster trade for Murray.
But it was more to enhance Young than anything.
GMs still voted Young the fourth-best point guard in the league behind Stephen Curry – whom Young trained with this offseason – Luka Doncic, and Chris Paul. Curry and Doncic are both interesting cases as they also finished among the top three vote-getters at shooting guard.
This is a big step after Young was left off of the list completely last season.
Interestingly, especially in light of what the Heat did to the Hawks in the postseason, Young did not rank among the top players that force teams to make the most adjustments.
No other Hawks ranked among the top vote-getters for best at their respective positions.
Two notable absences were Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and LaMelo Ball of the rival Charlotte Hornets. Both were ranked ahead of Young in a recent poll of young stars teams would prefer to build around in a survey of NBA executives, though not specifically general managers, conducted by HoopsHype.
Despite that veritable win, the GMs still found a way to snub Young in the survey leaving him off of the list of “Best Passers”.
He checked in behind voting leader Nikola Jokic as well as Doncic, Paul, Curry, and LeBron James. Even that slight is less egregious than his ranking on the list of young players to build around.
The general managers also left the Hawks out of the guaranteed playoff field.
Of course, opinions change and Schumann notes that each result is a percentage of the correspondents, not all 30 general managers. Still, it is a good way to see just how the Hawks are viewed especially when it comes to their outlook as a contender.