Trae Young Jokes He'll Pass Stephen Curry as NBA's Best Shooter Within a Year

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, left, drives against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young is setting his sights high.

Stephen Curry may be the greatest shooter in NBA history, but the second-year playmaker from the University of Oklahoma joked he will pass the Golden State Warriors playmaker as the best shooter in the league by next year.

Young said as much during an appearance on Shaquille O'Neal's podcast (h/t Twitter user Chris Montano) when pushed by the big man to predict how long it would take for Young to become a better shooter than Curry.

The Curry comparisons started for Young before he even entered the league as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2018 draft.

He rarely hesitates to pull up from well beyond the arc, can shoot off the dribble or penetrate through traffic, and is seemingly automatic when he catches fire during a game. Before the 2019-20 season went on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, he was attempting 9.5 triples per game as Atlanta's primary scorer, facilitator and creator.

However, Young is only a career 34.4 percent three-point shooter.

By comparison, Curry is a career 43.5 percent shooter from deep and has never shot worse than 41.1 percent during a full campaign. Young has a small sample size with plenty of room for growth, but he also has a lot of making up to do if he's going to catch Curry.

Playing on the Hawks, who haven't won more than 29 games since the 2016-17 season, also makes things more difficult on Young because opposing defenses are always focusing their attention on him every time down the floor.

Curry has enjoyed the benefits of playing alongside another sharpshooter in Klay Thompson, another creator in Draymond Green and one of the best pure scorers in history in Kevin Durant.

Young has some ground to make up, but nobody can accuse him of setting small goals.