Will Trae Young make the All-Star team?
He's one of several players on the short list for who might be named one of the seven All-Star reserves selected by the coaches. All-Star reserves will be announced on Friday, January 31.
VOTE NOW FOR THE 2020 ALL-STAR GAME
Before diving into Young's case, let's play a quick game.
Based only on the information provided, who would you pick? One of these players is Trae Young. The other is an NBA legend in his prime.
Player A is on top. Player B is on bottom.
We asked two of our global NBA.com writers for their opinions without knowing the identities of either player ahead of time.
The scoring is a wash even if Player B is the more proficient 3-point shooter. But I'm rolling with Player A because he gets to the line more and he's not nearly as careless with the ball. He also looks to be by far the more impactful defensive player, at least given what shows up in the box score. - Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13)
Player B gets my vote for a couple of reasons. First, he's a more efficient scorer and a better 3-point shooter, both in terms of volume and efficiency. Secondly, without knowing their exact positions, I'd rather have the person who is averaging more assists than rebounds. The turnovers are a little worrying, but it doesn't scare me off enough to go with Player A. - Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles)
OK so this one was a trick.
As mentioned above, one of the players is Trae Young from this season. The other is not from this season, but is an 18-time All-Star and former league MVP. So you can't actully vote for him for the 2020 All-Star Game.
Player A is Kobe Bryant from 2007-08 when he won the MVP.
Player B is Young.
Now... the comparison here isn't to say that a 21-year-old Young is as good as Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant in his prime. That would be ludicrous. And besides... Young's still a defensive liability for a young lottery-bound Hawks team with an endless leash and playing in an era that lends itself to inflated numbers for ball-dominant guards while Bryant was a 12-time All-Defensive team selection on a Lakers team that would eventually reach the NBA Finals later that season.
Context, of course, is everything.
So again. The point isn't to compare the two players as peers as much as it is to shed some light on Young's statistical brilliance.
Young's case is pretty simple: he's putting up incredible offensive numbers and the Hawks are a mess offensively whenever he's off the floor.
Likewise, the case against Young is pretty simple: the Hawks have the worst record in the NBA and are a mess defensively whenever he's on the floor.
But if you had some trouble picking between the two, just know that Young's overall production on paper truly is historic.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.