The entire basketball world knew that Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young was entering the NBA Draft after a season in which he led the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8), becoming the first player to do that since assists became official in 1983-84.
The 6-foot-2 wonder made it official today.
Trae Young on Twitter
The time has come, and this journey was not easy… But I’m ready!! But there’s so many people who helped me along the way https://t.co/mPAuOST4lo
Hes selling while his stock is high. But now that he is stepping inside the NBA arena, the scrutiny begins for a player who has shown flashes of Steph Curry brilliance with his shooting prowess, some deft ball handling and passing skills.
But there’s also a perceived vulnerability, slight immaturity and a defensive deficiency in his game that NBA scouts will pick apart leading up to the 2018 Draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on June 21st. Various mock drafts him being taken anywhere between pick 5 and 10.
Some have him landing with the New York Knicks, who have the ninth selection.
SB Nation on Twitter
1. MEM – Luka Doncic 2. PHX – Deandre Ayton 3. CLE – Jaren Jackson Jr 4. ORL – Mo Bamba 5. ATL – Michael Porter Jr 6. SAC – Marvin Bagley III 7. DAL – Wendell Carter Jr 8. CHI – Mikal Bridges 9. NYK – Trae Young 10.
From this point, his talent evaluation will conducted by scouts, coaches and general managers who are looking for deficiencies in his game and how he physically and mentally projects to the next level. The opinions on Young have shifted throughout the season, just as his game has.
This years Draft lottery is full of multi-talented ballers, but the most intriguing of them all is Young, whose freshman season was very similar to Yankees star Aaron Judge’srookie season.
At the beginning of this college basketball season, Young was on fire. He was scoring a ton and taking shots unconsciously as his Oklahoma team seemed content watching the new breed of NBA jump shooters do his thing.
The Shadow League on Twitter
There’s Trae Young and there’s everyone else in college basketball. He’s playing on a whole other level. https://t.co/h33GlvJFEP
Then, Young kind of fizzled out like a dud firecracker as the season ended. He struggled with double and triple teams and his three-point percentage dipped to 36 percent. Those early comparisons to Steph Curry appeared to be premature hyperbole.
On March 14th, Jeremy Woo of SI.com wrote, “Though his star has dimmed a bit with his late-season struggles, he’s still a fascinating talent and in the right situation could pace a team with his shooting and playmaking.”
His body of work cant be knocked. Most teams just dont know what they will get at the next level from Young after such a brief college audition. Despite his rocky ending, he still ended up leading the nation in scoring and advanced to the NCAA tourney.
But his freshman season , as great as it was, left scouts with more questions about his game than answers. Youngs fan popularity also lost some lift as he was blamed for the teams failures as well as their successes.
Jonathan Wasserman on Twitter
Trae Young, 19, just had 28-7-5 on 9-18 in his first NCAA tourney game, carried a bad OU team to OT vs higher seed (OU’s 2nd/3rd leading scorers combined 4-17)…and if you followed the game on twitter you’d think he blew it for his team.
His introduction to superstardom was pretty accurate. They love you when youre winning and they diss you when you cant reach the lofty standard you set.
Young may not be the next Steph and he probably isnt as bad as he played near the end of the season. If he ends up somewhere in the middle, then he should be able to make some noise in the league.