Sooner or later, it will be widely accepted that Trae Young is a superstar. The city of Atlanta and the Hawks organization already recognize his greatness; after all, Young signed a five-year max-contract extension this offseason, which will pay him $207 million in total if he makes an All-NBA team. For much of the national media, the prerogative has been his team’s lack of success — empty statistics. Well, some of those national reporters and analysts have walked those abrasive shots at Young back after he burst onto the scene during the 2021 playoffs, averaging just under 30 points and 10 assists per game.
He was electric, and each series had a signature moment on his way to becoming public enemy #1 in New York and blowing up The Process in Philadelphia, leading the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. His own teammates and coaches know his capabilities. Nate McMillan, most recently, touting in a recent interview that he will “win big.”
“In just under a minute, McMillan praised Young in about every way possible. He started by recognizing what he can do with his skill on the court — stretch defenses with his shooting, scoring at all three levels, getting to the free-throw line, and playmaking as well as anybody else in the game. However, McMillan continues by acknowledging his maturity and fearlessness, which we saw over the second half of the season and into the playoffs.”
It would behoove the NBA to put a significant portion of their marketing budget to one of the most marketable up-and-coming stars in the Association. Young has been putting up ungodly numbers since entering the league. He’s tied with LeBron James for the third-most 40-point games through a player’s first three seasons, but it’s not just the volume of scoring that’s so impressive. It is the method in which he scores. Whether it be a floater from 4-10 feet or 30+ feet, Young is sensational. The stats back it up; according to Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN, the young phenom is the NBA’s leading scorer from 34-36 feet — range.
Leading Scorers By Distance, Last 25 Years pic.twitter.com/dogDoNw1xe
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) August 31, 2021
This is just another example of Young’s elite scoring ability, but what sometimes gets forgotten about is his playmaking ability. He’s one of he five-best passers in this league, and the more experience he gets, the more deadly he’ll be.