Hawks GM: Trae Young Shoots Like Steph

Travis Schlenk sees a lot of similarities between Young and the two-time NBA MVP

Reiter Than You
June 27, 2018 - 9:50 am

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There were two players that the Atlanta Hawks wanted with the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. So they drafted one and then traded him for the other.

“Really early in the process, we decided we wanted to have a guy that could facilitate offense, a guy that could dribble, pass and shoot and make other players better,” Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said on Reiter Than You. “The two guys that really stood out to us were Luka (Doncic) and Trae (Young). We would have been extremely ecstatic to land either one of them. As the process plays out, we started having conversations with all the other teams. It became pretty obvious to us that Luka was going to have a lot of value.”

The Hawks drafted Doncic third overall and traded him to Dallas for Young, who was drafted fifth, as well as a 2019 first-round pick.

“For us, to be able to get Trae and what could be a future lottery pick from the Dallas Mavericks, it was hard to turn down,” Schlenk said. “Were building this thing from the ground back up.”

The Hawks finished 24-58 last season, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Their rebuild will go a lot quicker if Young becomes the second coming of Steph Curry.

“I think the one thing that stands out between those two guys is Trae’s ability to shoot from deep,” Schlenk said. “When I say deep, it’s not from three. In college, I think almost half of his shots came from behind 30 feet, which is six feet behind the NBA three-point line, which is what you see Steph shooting all the time. I think the other thing that you see with Trae, like Steph, which is a really hard skill, is to shoot those shots off the dribble. It’s one thing to be able to do it (when you) have your feet set, get a pass, go up and shoot it. But it’s another thing to do it when you’re coming off the dribble. 

“I really think that’s where Steph has kind of changed the game, so to speak,” Schlenk continued. “You see all these young kids now. Trae is kind of the first guy that comes to major college basketball that’s being able to do it successfully – or at least at the rate he was able to do it.”