So after all that, what did we learn about Young? Well, nothing most fans and pundits didn’t already know, to be honest.
Most people figured Young would be a streaky scorer to start his NBA career, and he was. Most thought that his diminutive stature would inhibit his ability to finish in the restricted area and in the paint, and it did. Many thought he would be a good passer at the NBA level, and, to some extent, he exceeded those expectations.
But what does that mean for Young? Is he as good as his numbers suggest or did a strong second half against mostly ho-hum opponents paper over some of his flaws? Will he ever develop into the superstar that the Hawks have pined for since the Dominique Wilkins era?
The answer probably lies somewhere in between. While you can’t ignore Young’s horrid first half (16.9 points per game on .406/.312/.798 shooting splits), he definitely showed glimmers of what he could be: a crafty offensive dynamo who can serve as the engine of an elite offensive team.
But for Young to reach those heights, he will have to become a more consistent 3-point threat and finisher at the tin. If he doesn’t, opponents will cease to respect his shot and give him the Rajon Rondo/Lonzo Ball/Michael Carter-Williams treatment.
If that happens, it’s back to square one for the Hawks. He also needs to become good enough on defense to where he doesn’t completely offset what he does on offense. It’s still early, but Young has a lot of work to do to assuage the concerns about his future prospects.
Young probably won’t snatch the Rookie of the Year award away from Doncic — though there will be plenty of people who will move the goalposts to make the case for him — but he showed that he could evolve into a perennial All-Star over the next couple of seasons, much like the man the Hawks traded away to get Young.
For now, though, Young is a young, erratic guard who’s prone to hot or cold spells at any given time and resembles a revolving door on defense.
Final Grade: B-