The Atlanta Hawks raised eyebrows when they decided to go all in on Trae Young in this year’s draft.
With the number three pick, they had a chance to select players who were considered to be much better prospects.
They did initially choose exciting European talent Luka Doncic but that was with the sole purpose of trading his draft rights to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Young.
Doncic was recently named as the youngest Euroleague MVP as he led Real Madrid to the championship.
But Atlanta was only focused on their man and have bet big on the point guard.
Banking on Trae
Young wasn’t projected to be taken in the top five which shows that the Hawks have taken a gamble but they’re confident in his ability.
The 19-year-old is arguably the best shooter in his class and in this era dominated by three-point shooting, they couldn’t pass on a player they believe could be the next Stephen Curry.
The franchise recently traded starting point guard Dennis Schroder to the Oklahoma City Thunder and are ready to thrust their new youngster into the spotlight.
This move showed just how much they’re banking on the Oklahoma product and he’s grateful for the faith they’ve shown in him already.
“Obviously when they move the point guard they’ve had for a while, their starting point guard, it definitely opened my eyes,” Young told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It shows how much they are committed to me. Bringing Jeremy (Lin) in as well is a good fit for us. I know there is a lot on my plate. I’m looking forward to it.”
There’s no doubt that these decisions by the Hawks front office will place extra pressure on Young’s shoulders.
That was already evident in the Summer League as his performances were scrutinised and critiqued.
He struggled with his shot in the early games but he did get better and exploded for seven threes in a win over the Chicago Bulls to give everybody a glimpse of what he’s about.
The young guard had no hesitation in pulling up from deep and shooting off the dribble to fuel the Curry comparisons.
His rookie season will obviously be filled with ups and downs as he gets adjusted to life in the NBA but his head coach, Lloyd Pierce, is prepared to help him along the way.
“The conversation is, ‘There’s a lot of work to be done.’ For all of us, myself included,” Pierce told NBC Sports.
“And then you got to perform 82 nights, so how do we help you get better? How do we help you understand what you’re going to need at this level? That’s the starting point that we have.”
Young’s talent is unquestionable but he may have more on his plate than his fellow rookies and the Hawks will hope that won’t weigh too heavily on his shoulders.
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