Hawks' Trae Young gives honest assessment of Pistons' Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey

Trae Young spoke candidly about Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey after the Atlanta Hawks narrowly avoided snapping the Detroit Pistons' losing streak.
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young / Paras Griffin/GettyImages

It nearly came down to the wire.

But the Atlanta Hawks narrowly avoided becoming the team against whom the Detroit Pistons snapped their league-worst losing streak. Instead, the Hawks extended the Pistons’ – and their fans’ – misery with a 130-124 victory.

Like the Hawks, Detroit was missing some key pieces. They did have Cade Cunningham, though, and the former No. 1 overall pick delivered with a 43-point, seven-assist, five-rebound, three-steal performance.

Asked about that performance, Young went into a bit of a soliloquy about the Pistons guard’s current situation.

“It's not too much to say about them. I think they're going through a learning curve. They got a lot of young pieces,” Young said via the team. “This league is hard to win … at the highest level with young talent. And just being out there on the floor with … Cade and some of the vets, you can tell the difference between them and some of the other young guys that they got.” 

Young had a bit of a dust-up with Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, a player who started 73 games last season but who has been moved into a bench role behind a pair of rookies this season. The latter committed his sixth foul on Young and the two exchanged words on Ivey’s way out.

Hawks wing – and former Piston – Saddiq Bey could be seen chatting with Ivey, his former teammate, after the game.

That is just a microcosm of the season for Cunningham, Ivey, and the Pistons.

Trae Young gets honest about Jaden Ivey after Hawks beat Pistons

“He's going to be a really good player,” Young said of Ivey. “I think there's times he’s got to understand, just be smarter in certain situations too. So, I'm not here to critique anybody's game. But I feel like they definitely have a lot of really good young pieces. But a lot of pieces that are good that can still get better and learn some things.”

It all just plays into the overarching theme of Young teams doing things that Young teams do that cost them games. 

It’s something the Hawks have experienced at points in Young’s career.

“Just from talking to them and just being out there on the floor with them, you can tell some of the reasons why they're struggling,” Young said.

“That's just part of it being a young team and going through it and learning through it. And sometimes you got to take L's to get wins later on. And I think that that's what they're doing right now, and that's just part of it.”

The irony of Young's message to Ivey is that the Hawks star picked up his eighth technical foul of the season in the contest. Young frequently engages the officials when he feels he doesn't get a call or doesn't like the call made.

A 16th technical foul would result in an automatic one-game suspension. A player would then receive an additional game for every other technical received after that.

So, while there is still some room, there is also a lot of the season left -- more than half, which is how close Young is to triggering the punishment.

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