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The Trae Young, Steph Curry Connection Runs Deep In Hawks Front Office

A familiarity between moving parts and a ton of confidence in his ability facilitated the rookie's arrival in Atlanta.

Regardless of what anyone says, Atlanta Hawks heralded rookie Trae Young is definitely an attempt by the organization to clone Steph Curry. As the history between Young and the Atlanta Hawks staff is revealed, it’s totally understandable why they leaped at the opportunity to draft the rookie bomber in the 2018 Draft. 

Can Trae Young follow in Steph Curry’s footsteps? | NBA Countdown | ESPN

Oklahoma Sooners freshman phenom Trae Young keeps filling up the stat sheet and continues to draw comparisons to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. Can he live up to it?

Young is constantly compared to Steph because of his wiry frame and unconscious, long range shooting prowess. The original mad bomber and his young clone will match jumpers for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV. Despite the similarities, Young’s favorite player growing up was actually two-time MVP and Hall of Famer Steve Nash,  who serves as a Warriors consultant. 

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That’s the first piece to this puzzle and a big reason why despite some shooting woes, Young is holding his own and having a solid rookie season with his ball distribution skills.  


Atlanta head coach Lloyd Pierce was an assistant coach with the Warriors during the 2010-11 season and built a strong rapport with Curry. Pierce was also a college teammate of Nash’s at Santa Clara.  


That’s the second piece. He understands Young’s game as well as anybody and the way the rookie blends both Curry and Nash’s skill sets on the court.  

The connection between Curry, the Hawks and Young is just too coincidental. It was his destiny to be in Atlanta and flex his skills to the best of his abilities, roaming uninhibited as Steve Kerr has allowed Steph to. The third piece of the puzzle is Hawks GM Travis Schlenk, who selected Young in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was an assistant GM with the Warriors before being hired by Atlanta.     

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The entire Hawks hierarchy has seen Curry up close on a daily basis and were sure that Young could eventually come close to duplicating Curry’s success. That’s some high praise. 


Young’s had his typical rookie struggles. He had his breakout NBA game on Oct. 21 when he scored 35 points and dropped 11 dimes. 

SLAM on Twitter

35 points, 11 dimes and a convincing comeback win on the road. Welcome to the Trae Young show.


His 24-point, 15-assist, six-rebound outburst on Saturday, in a 123-118 win over the Heat, was wicked. 

NBA on Twitter

Trae Young puts up 24 PTS & a career-high 15 AST to give the @ATLHawks the home victory! #TrueToAtlanta https://t.co/EiqW0aKcqC

But he followed that up  by going 1-for-14 from 3-point land in a pair of losses. It’s a learning process, but he is still averaging an impactful 18.6 points and 8.1 assists while chipping in almost 3.5 rebounds. And he’s not even comfortable in the league yet.

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In addition, those numbers are better than Curry’s rookie numbers with the exception of shooting percentages — especially at 3-point land, where Young is uncharacteristically struggling at 27.1 percent (He shot 36 percent at Oklahoma). 

That’s nothing like Steph, who shot 43.7 percent from three-point range as a rookie, but the connection makes total sense. So far Young has shown scary potential.   



JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.