While it was a foregone conclusion the San Antonio Spurs would take French phenom Victor Wembanyama, seeing the big man amongst his fellow future rookies drew a reaction from Young, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
“7’5 is really OD.. lol,” Young tweeted on June 22 during the annual selection cycle. “You gotta be happy for this Kid, he gonna be special ! Look forward to competing Killa.”
Wembanyama has been the presumed No. 1 overall pick since becoming eligible for the draft and has the ability to play on the perimeter like a wing even at his size. And he now lands in a situation under the tutelage of a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame head coach, Gregg Popovich, who has a track record of putting big men in the Hall of Fame too.
While Wembanyama is set to take over in San Antonio, Young also sent a message out to the rest of the class even before sending that message to Wembanyama individually, harkening back to his own draft experience.
“Shoutout to all the Draftees Tonight,” tweeted Young. “Life Changing Moment!! Always love seeing who goes 5th.”
Young has shared his story of not knowing that he would end up with the Hawks in 2018.
Trae Young didn’t think he would end up with Atlanta Hawks
“To be honest, the day of the draft, I didn’t think I was going to Atlanta,” Young said on the ‘Gimme The Hot Sauce’ podcast in May 2022. “I thought I was going to go to either Orlando at six or, if I fell to seven, go to [the Bulls].”
A draft day trade brought the Hawks star to Atlanta where he has gone on to earn All-NBA and All-Star honors as well as leading the league in total assists in back-to-back years, one season after also leading the NBA in total points. He also led the Hawks to an Eastern Conference Finals berth in just his third season.
But let Young tell it, there is far more work to be done.
“I’ve gone into the Conference Finals which is cool,” Young said on ‘From The Point by Trae Young’ on June 9. “But, in my eyes, if you don’t win the championship, that ain’t enough.”
He also noted that it’s especially tough having consecutive first-round exits after that surprise run in 2020-21. The Haws did go from losing in five games in 2021-22 to the Miami Heat to bowing out is six hard-fought contests against the Boston Celtics this postseason.
The Hawks star was the one player said to not be available in a trade despite such rumors surrounding all of his teammates.
He will look to improve upon his team’s previous success next season.