Trae Young’s numbers speak for themselves. The 21-year-old is averaging 29.2 points per game and 9.0 assists per contest (yet somehow there are talking heads that don’t think he should be starting in the All-Star Game). I said last year he would become the latest player to average 30 points and 10 assists in a single season. Little did I know, however, he’d come this close in just his second year.
Young is not only a bonafide superstar already – ask any current player or coach – but he also has not stopped progressing since entering the league. Even amid a historic year for a second-year player, Young has gotten better as the season has gone one. The last time he didn’t have at least six assists in a game was on November 6th – the seventh game of the year – and that’s the only time it has happened all season (not counting two games in which Young left early with an injury). The last time he didn’t put up more than ten points was on November 22nd – one of only two times this season he didn’t reach double-digits in scoring.
Since November 23rd, Young has averaged 31.0 points and 9.2 assists on 45.3% shooting from the field and 38% from behind the arc – all of which are higher than his season averages. Shorten that time gap a little bit – since the start of the new decade (January 3rd/12 games) – he’s averaging 31.2 points and 10.9 assists per contest on nearly the same shooting percentages.
Sure, Young has defensive deficiencies, but his offensive game is so advanced, it makes up for them three times over. What’s difficult to figure out is, where the hell does his ceiling end?
Last year, I thought being a 30 and 10 player was a lofty yet fair expectation based on his explosion in the season’s second half. He’s already surpassed that, and I don’t think he’s slowing down. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he averaged 32-35 points and 10+ assists after the All-Star break. So what about next year; what about when he starts to reach his prime? Could he possibly become the first player to average 40 points and 10 assists – or even more absurd – 30 points and 15 assists?
That may make you chuckle, but not only is it possible, it might even be likely that he accomplishes one of those feats. In Trae Young, the Hawks have one of the most advanced offensive players ever to pick up a basketball, and he’s still a freshly turned 22-year-old. I cannot wait to see some of the stat lines he puts up in the future, but more importantly, the banners he will help hang from State Farm Arena.