The top scorer and assist man in the NCAA in the 2017-2018 season was Trae Young of Oklahoma University. Young was recently selected 5th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. During his only season at Oklahoma, Young averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists on 42% shooting from the field (36% from downtown). Young is also a strong free-thrower shooter, stroking it at 86% from the line. For a Hawks team that is in absolute desperation and rebuilding mode, I think that Young was a smart draft choice for the team. Young will either be a major success or major failure in the future. For a team struggling as badly as the Hawks, drafting Young was definitely worth the risk, whether he pans out in the long-run or not.
Now let’s take a look into what we can expect out of Young during his rookie season. Young stands small at only 6 feet 2 inches, and weighs in at a whopping 180 pounds soaking wet. Thus far, he has easily maneuvered around his size disadvantage with impressive athleticism and great shooting. However, the NBA is a completely different story. Young’s number one priority from right now until his first NBA game should be gaining weight. If he sticks with his fragile frame he will be looking at playing 30 games during his rookie season, maybe, due to injuries. I’m gonna set my injury prediction as a upper leg injury, or a groin injury if he’s being guarded by Draymond Green. This is an easily avoidable scenario for Young, given that he’s borderline anorexic as he stands today.
I expect that Young will suffer a minor injury at some point during his rookie year, but nothing major. That being said, I would predict that Young plays somewhere in the ballpark of 60 games during his rookie year. I would say that 60 games is pretty respectable for a grown boy with a wet jumper. Given that he will be playing for the Hawks, I’m gonna go on a limb and say that he will not be averaging as many assists as he did at Oklahoma, as the Hawks are actual garbage, regardless of how you are looking at the team. However, by being surrounded by players that should probably be playing in the WNBA (@DennisSchroder), Young will have a good number of minutes and touches per game. He will obviously need to adjust to the style of play in the NBA, which can take time, but I would expect that Young is able to contribute a solid number of points to the Hawks offense. As for Rookie of the Year, HA. No shot. If Young was playing for a team with actual talent that will be followed during the regular season, then yeah I would say that he has a shot. But with the way that these awards are given out nowadays, I wouldn’t give Young any sort of chance of winning ROY unless he gets traded elsewhere.
Final Prediction: 15.5 points per game, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals