When you are being compared to Stephen Curry before even stepping foot on an NBA court, it is obvious that high expectations and instant pressure are going to come along with that. After getting drafted by the Dallas Mavericks and instantly being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young was viewed as the new franchise cornerstone of this young Hawks team. Now fifty games into his rookie season, it is arguable whether Young has lived up to his lofty expectations thus far.
When simply looking at Trae Young’s per game numbers, it would appear as if he is having a phenomenal year. Young is averaging 16.9 points per game to go along with 7.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He has certainly shown flashes of greatness, most notably in a recent stretch of games. During this admittedly small sample size, Young put up 26.8 points on an efficient 56.9 percent shooting from the field from January 26th to February 1st. He has been noticeably more aggressive heading to the basket as of late, which has led to the rookie’s recent success. Trae now seems more comfortable on both sides of the ball, and it will continue to do wonders for his confidence. He is more composed when heading to the basket, which has allowed him to take advantage of his special passing ability to find open teammates. This high level of composure has also allowed his patented floater from close range to become even more effective, and may be a staple of his game for years to come.
Young has put up great numbers lately and his per game stats are impressive, but he is very inefficient. For the season, the former Oklahoma guard is shooting just 31.1 percent from deep and 41.1 percent overall. This inefficiency is due to adjusting to the NBA style of play along with poor shot selection at times, especially when pulling up beyond the arc. Young can sometimes take some shots that many would consider reckless. He has no problem taking threes that are quite far away from the line, even when tightly guarded. Trae definitely has the shot-making ability to bury deep triples on occasion, but it is a tough shot for him or anyone not named Stephen Curry to make consistently. Also, the rookie forces floaters in the lane even if they are well defended or a very tough shot. Taking off-balance floaters and contested long threes will not help to raise Trae Young’s field goal percentage.
It is not a huge red flag considering he is just 20 years old but in order to develop into an all-star caliber player Young needs to improve his basketball IQ to realize what shots he should and should not take.