Skip Bayless rips idea of Hawks’ Trae Young on Lakers

Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Amid reports that Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young is still on the Los Angeles Lakers’ radar as a possible trade target, outspoken Fox Sports 1 personality Skip Bayless offered his thoughts.

Most of them revolved around Young’s slight build compared to some of the other top stars, though Bayless does compare him to Russell Westbrook whose reputation skews the other way.

“I would not want him on my basketball team,” Bayless said on “Undisputed” on September 4.

“He might be 6-feet on a good day. They call him, as you know, ‘Ice Trae,’ and I call him ‘Mice Trae’ because he’s so little, and he gets upset with me. … Since he came into the league, he has shot the eighth-most threes. Since he came into the league, he leads the whole league in turnovers.”

The issue with stats is that they can mean anything depending on the context, and one of the key points of Bayless’ argument is that Young is not a good enough shooter, pointing to his 33.5% mark last season.

It was an admittedly down year for the two-time All-Star, who has vowed to shoot better next season.

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He did shoot 37.1% from three after the trade deadline, though.

“It’s a bad combination,” Bayless continued. “It’s like Westbrook. Since he came into the league, he’s been a liability on defense because he’s just too little, and he’s not even physical enough. He is a great passer of the basketball, I will give you that. But you’ve got the best passer in LeBron James, right now. I don’t know how this is a great fit.”

The comparison of Young (6-foot-1, 164lbs) to Westbrook (6-foot-3, 200lbs) is an interesting one. First, Westbrook is often criticized for relying on his athleticism rather than improving his skill while Young is incapable of growing but did show more active hands defensively last year.

“He’s got star power,” Bayless admitted before getting in one final slight. “People love him. Kids love him because they can relate to him, because he’s so little.”

Young has not publicly asked for a trade or said anything to suggest he wants to leave Atlanta.

Skip Bayless compares Trae Young to Team USA scapegoat Austin Reaves

Reaves came on late last season and during the playoffs for the Lakers, earning a four-year, $53.8 million contract in restricted free agency this summer. He also earned a spot on Team USA for the 2023 FIBA World Cup over Young, a point of contention for some in the player media world.

Those sentiments hit social media with Team USA’s upset loss versus Lithuania in which the latter targeted Reaves defensively as the young guard struggled to just seven points and was benched by head coach Steve Kerr.

Young has said multiple times that he would like a chance to show what he can do as a playmaker with Team USA.

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His next chance will be in 2024 with the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics roster, though that team is expected to be even tougher to make. There is a belief the top stars are sitting out the 2023 FIBA World Cup to be available for the Olympics in 2024 since the two events fall so close together this time.