Trae Young Agrees to Rookie Contract with Hawks Ahead of 2018 Summer League

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 21: Trae Young speaks to the media after being selected fifth overall at the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Kostas Lymperopoulos/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kostas Lymperopoulos/Getty Images

Trae Young has agreed to his rookie contract with the Atlanta Hawks.  

The team announced its agreement with Young on Sunday. 

Per Real GM, under the NBA's rookie wage scale, Young will earn $15,167,700 over the first three years of his rookie deal. 

The Dallas Mavericks originally selected Young, but the Mavs and Hawks had already worked out a deal by then to ensure he would never play a game for Dallas.

Atlanta sent Luka Doncic's draft rights to the Mavericks in return for Young and a lottery-protected first-round pick next year.

Almost immediately, the expectation became the Hawks would work tirelessly to trade incumbent starting point guard Dennis Schroder:

Jeff Schultz @JeffSchultzAJC

Travis Schlenk on now having 2 point guards, Dennis Schroder and Trae Young: "I think both guys can play together." ... Prediction: I doubt that will ever happen. Hawks trying to trade Schroder.

Schroder had an opportunity to establish himself as the face of Atlanta's rebuild.

He averaged 19.4 points and 6.2 assists, but the Hawks had a minus-6.6 net rating with him on the floor, per NBA.com. Not to mention, he essentially said he wants out of Atlanta if the team isn't going to contend anytime soon.

In Young, the Hawks have their true point guard of the future. The Oklahoma Sooners star averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists and shot 36.0 percent from three-point range in his only year of college.

Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal wasn't entirely sold on Atlanta's draft strategy, though. In addition to arguing the Hawks would have been better off simply keeping Doncic, Fromal highlighted one of Young's biggest weaknesses:

"It would be hard to fault them for this pick in a vacuum, given the need for an upside-laden floor general. Then again, they also have to be at least slightly concerned about his defensive limitations. Porosity is one thing, but Young's best-case scenario still leaves him using his 6'2" frame and 6'3" wingspan to guard only a single position. He'll always be a liability on switches, even if he starts displaying intensity that will help him mitigate some of those unsolvable physical shortcomings."

Upon taking over as Atlanta head coach, Lloyd Pierce emphasized defense, which may be one reason the Hawks felt comfortable taking Young over Doncic. As long as Pierce can make the 19-year-old a passable defender, that could be enough if his shooting in college translates to the NBA.

The Hawks finished with the third-worst record in the NBA (24-58) in 2017-18, and things aren't looking any brighter for the foreseeable future. Beyond Young and John Collins, the roster doesn't have much in the way of players who will be the cornerstones of a playoff team in three or four years.

Young's willingness to shoot from anywhere inside half court will at least provide some entertainment in what will otherwise be a difficult 2018-19 season for the franchise.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.