The 2018 NBA Draft class features a lot of talent on both ends of the ball. Defensive monsters in Mohamed Bamba and Marvin Bagley, but also offensive threats in Luka Doncic and Trae Young are bringing much-needed talent to lottery teams. The top five draft picks are usually the best players in the draft, but history has shown that one or two players are usually a complete bust. Every draft has an all-star, and a Kwame Brown.
Young has obvious comparisons to Stephen Curry coming out of Davidson and I can totally see him following his footsteps. Then again, he also has many similarities to Jimmer Fredette. I can’t see him being just a role player; but if I had to pick between the Curry or Fredette route, I’d choose Fredette lane.
We all saw the human-mixtape Trae Young when he was in college. He was straight money from NBA range and led the NCAA in points with 27.4 PPG. He also could pass really well, take the ball to the rack, and reach the charity stripe at ease. His offensive game is deadly. But to succeed in the NBA he is going to need to do a lot more than just score.
Young wasn’t that good on the defensive end in Oklahoma which can also be blamed on his size. He’s 6’2 which isn’t terrible, but he lacks a long wingspan. Don’t forget : Young led the NCAA in turnovers per game as he averaged 5.2 giveaways a contest.
Fans of the sport all know how it is with players like Young. Both Curry and Fredette are commonly used as examples when talking about Young and rightfully so. Curry used his limitless range and elite quickness to quickly become one of the best point guards of all time. While people thought Fredette would be an all-star with the same traits as Curry, he proved to have too many flaws in his game which lead him down the treacherous path of NBA benches, and eventual stardom in China. (Who is the real winner here?)
I thought a lot about Young and which path he’s going to end up on. At the end of the day, I can’t see Young breaking out on the Hawks or even becoming a role player. So much of his potential in the NBA relies on his ability to score at the elite level and still remain an offensive force. These type of prospects either shoot lights out in the NBA, or struggle with their field goal percentage and turnovers, never catching their offensive stride.
I love Trae Young. I want to see him become like Curry; but for now, don’t expect to see Young averaging more than 20 points a game for this season.