In the 2018 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks traded back two spots, acquiring a first-round pick while swapping their third pick for the Dallas Mavericks’ fifth pick. The Mavs drafted Slovenian phenom Luka Doncic. The Hawks drafted college sensation Trae Young, the diminutive, sharp-shooting guard who averaged 27.4 points per game in his lone season at Oklahoma.
Draft experts love Doncic, and Atlanta effectively choosing Young drew raised eyebrows from many.
Young told Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp that he believes he will be better than Doncic:
“The thing with Luka, he’s a great player,” Young said. “I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”
Both players are off to tremendous starts to their careers. Young has played 14 games, averaging 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game on an effective-field-goal percentage of 46.5 percent. Doncic has played 13 games, averaging 19.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game on 55.7 percent effective-field-goal shooting.
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