NBA Executives aren’t envisioning Trae Young in the right context.
While the Atlanta Hawks built a consistent structure around Trae Young, they have yet to fully realize his potential with their personnel. The frontcourt tandem of Clint Capela and John Collins offers elite rim running. As the former protects the paint and does the dirty work, the latter spaces the floor and plays above the rim. But neither of these big men is a playmaking threat, forcing Young to facilitate the offense himself without anyone to set him up for higher-quality shots.
Enter Dejounte Murray: a rising star with a floor general’s mindset and elite perimeter defense. Moving Young off the ball more often will showcase a new path for teams to build around him. This is the first time that anyone within three tiers of Trae Young as a facilitator has entered the lineup, offering a chance to prove that he’ll be effective without the ball in his hands.
Through the first four years of his NBA career, Young has been forced to dictate everything in the Hawks’ offense for it to have any chance at competing. The alternative was running through Collins in the post or since-traded shooting guard Kevin Huerter — a solid role player and talented shooter who is understandably leagues below Trae in the playmaking category.
Context is key, and it doesn’t seem like the voters in this poll considered just how impactful Trae Young would be in the right scenario. While Atlanta has done a nice job of building a conventional team, the front office hasn’t quite molded its rotation to fit the needs of its star.