As of late, Trae Young doesn’t want to be second fiddle in the Rookie of the Year race.
The leader, in majority of NBA circles, is Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks. From the beginning of the season, Dončić has wowed fans and has turned heads of those that doubted him prior to the draft process.
The former 2018 No. 3 overall pick of the Hawks (flipped for No. 5 in Young to the Mavs) has averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists this season.
He was in conversation for an All-star game selection, but it never fell through.
Unlike Dončić, Young was a steady mainstay for the Hawks prior to the All-star break. From his one year at Oklahoma, people had an idea of what Young was.
The idea was a slim guard with exceptional handle and the ability to shoot from practically anywhere he wanted. That has been true.
Young’s shooting has a lot of room for improvement, as he is shooting 42 percent from the floor and 34 percent from beyond the arc.
The shots will fall with time.
As fascinating a scorer that he is, playmaking might be his finest skill. Since Feb. 25, Young has dished out double-digit assists on seven occasions.
One of those games was a four-overtime matchup at home versus the Chicago Bulls. In a career-high 49 point effort, he had 16 assists in the loss.
Young has averaged 25 points per game during the span, with Dončić at 21.
The two thoroughbreds will be at the best players on their respective teams for years to come. For Young, he wants to be the best of his draft class.
The only way to do so is to win the Rookie of the Year honor. Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Young will win the award.
“He is rookie of the year,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “The stuff he is doing – facilitating, he has played in every single game and he has performed. He has been our go-to guy down the stretch. I just think there is a lot to be said about our growth as a team and how we’ve progressed and teams we’ve beat and how we’ve played as the season has gone on and he’s been a major part of that.”
Young is tied with Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan for the second-highest total of games with at least 30 points and 10 assists with five as a rookie.
History can be found next to Young’s name and he still has years ahead of him. It will be a tight race to the finish now that Young has arrived.