Windhorst on Trae Young's Potential: 'I Do Think There's Some Concern out There'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2021

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles towards the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Hector Amezcua)
AP Photo/Hector Amezcua

Trae Young has put up impressive numbers to begin his NBA career, but there are still doubts about his upside in the league.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst explained the situation on The Hoop Collective.

"He's a spectacular player, who is an excellent, excellent shooter at times, but he has games where he's off and doesn't contribute," Windhorst said (39:00). "Then he's a liability on defense, which gets the Hawks eaten alive all the time."

The discussion came after three ESPN writers (Bobby Marks, Kevin Pelton and Mike Schmitz) ranked the Atlanta Hawks star as the No. 16 player in the league under 25 years old.

"I do think there's some concern out there about what kind of a difference-making player he can be," Windhorst added (43:33).

Young quickly lived up to expectations as the No. 5 pick of the 2018 NBA draft, earning an All-Star selection in his second season after being a finalist for the Rookie of the Year award behind Luke Doncic in Year 1.

The point guard finished the 2019-20 season ranked fourth in the NBA with 29.6 points per game and second in the league with 9.3 assists per game.

His continues to impress in 2020-21 (25.2 PPG, 9.4 APG), and the Hawks are in playoff contention for the first time in his career.

Despite the success, there are still doubts about his impact based on the inconsistency and defensive issues. Young has a plus-5.2 offensive box plus/minus this season but he's minus-1.7 on the defensive end, per Basketball Reference.

Windhorst said the Hawks will still likely offer Young a max contract extension this offseason as the squad continues to build around the 22-year-old. The question is whether he is good enough to lead a team to a championship.