Trae Young was recently named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, joining Luka Doncic from the West in receiving that honor. Young is averaging an impressive 15.8 points (third among rookies), 7.4 assists (best among rookies), and 2.9 rebounds per game in nearly 30 minutes per game.
However, you don’t have to dive much deeper into the stat line to find areas of concern. Young is needing 14.8 shot attempts per game to get his 15.8 points, shooting a dismal 37.9 percent from the field and 23.9 percent from three-point range while taking nearly six triples per game. There were questions for Young coming out of the draft about how he’d fare in terms of creating separation for his shot, both on the perimeter and at the rim, in the NBA. To this point, those questions still have merit.
Still, Young is doing some positive things on the floor. He’s finishing better at the rim than some anticipated (52.6 percent inside five feet) and his passing and vision is undeniable. Young was one of the most polarizing prospects at the top of last year’s draft, and a quarter of the way through his rookie season, little has changed in that regard.
Part of why the Young debate continues to rage on, rather than him having some time to acclimate to life in the NBA, is the draft day trade that saw the Hawks move back to let the Mavs take Doncic at No. 3. Naturally, comparisons between the two are inescapable, and to this point, it’s not exactly going well for Young in those comps.