Oklahoma G Trae Young was the darling of the NCAA Men’s Basketball season.
Bursting onto the scene after going under the radar to begin the year, Young proved that he was one of the best offensive players in the country, earning a consensus an All-American selection and leading Oklahoma to the NCAA Tournament.
Young’s numbers were off the charts in his lone college season: he averaged 27.4 points per game, 8.7 assists per game, and 3.9 rebounds per game.
He shot 42.2% from the floor and 36% from 3, providing instant offense.
However, when double-teamed late in the year, Young struggled to get his game going.
Looking towards his NBA future, Young’s size will put him at a disadvantage, as he stands only 6’2″ tall and weighs 180 lbs. Those are small numbers even for a point guard, which Young will be forced to play in this league, despite having a game that may be better suited for a two-guard.
Many people like to compare Young to Warriors’ G Stephen Curry, but I can tell you this: if you watched both of them in college, you know Curry looked a lot better than Young.
Curry was able to survive double-teams and use his strengths to defeat bigger players. Young doesn’t have as quick of a first step as the Warriors’ guard and looked physically over matched at times. He will need the perfect situation for him to succeed at the NBA level.
Best Fit: New York Knicks
The Knicks are still a rebuilding franchise, but took one of their guards of the future in G Frank Ntilikina during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
Down the stretch, Ntilikina was playing more at the two-guard spot in the lineup, which would open up the point for Young, allowing him to handle the ball.
New York could rotate the guards between the two spots, although, I don’t think Young has the off-ball game to play as a starting shooting guard.
If Young adds muscle to his frame, improves defensively and learns to play off the ball, he has the chance to be an OK NBA player. However, I can’t ever see Young being a starter on a good NBA team.
To me, he projects best as instant offense off the bench.