Updated: May 26, 2020
With an outstanding start to the 2019 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks’ point guard, Trae Young, will be the Hawks’ first NBA All-Star since 2016.
Young pushing the ball up the court vs. the 76ers.
Photo taken by Brett Davis of USA TODAY Sports
The criteria to be selected as an NBA All-Star is to be voted in by the fans, basketball media and current NBA players. Fans make up 50 percent of the vote, while the players and media each have 25 percent of the remaining vote. The two guards and three frontcourt players who receives the highest aggregate vote totals are named NBA All-Star starters. To be an NBA All-Star reserve, NBA head coaches vote for the reserves in their respective conferences. Each coach selects two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards with each selected player ranked in order of preference inside each group.
Young was drafted fifth overall out of the University of Oklahoma in the 2018 NBA Draft to the Dallas Mavericks. However, he was immediately traded to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for shooting guard Luka Doncic and a future NBA draft pick in the blockbuster trade. In his rookie season, Young joined a diverse Hawks team searching for its identity. He was surrounded by a young core with veteran leadership led by first year head coach Llyod Pierce. In the 2018-2019 season, Young’s team consisted of: 2017 NBA 19th overall pick John Collins, 2018 NBA 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter and eight time NBA All-Star Vince Carter. Although this team finished with a 29-53 record, this team showed flashes of potent potential led by their unquestioned leader, Trae Young. He averaged 19.1 points per game and 8.1 assists per game, while shooting 41 percent from the field in 81 games. Further, he had an impressive stretch starting Dec. 1 where he averaged 20.5 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game and 8.2 assists per game, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three. His impressive rookie season earned him a spot on the 2019 NBA All-Rookie First Team, and he finished second place in the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year race.
Moreover, Young is finishing where he left off as the 2019 NBA season tipped off last Tuesday. He has been sensational, putting up 25 points or more in the first three games of the season. He is the first Hawks player to start a season with 25 points or more in the month of October since John Drew in 1979-80. Now, it should be time to give Young his roses while he can smell them. Furthermore, he is second in the NBA in points per game with 34.0 and tied for fifth in assists per game with 9.0, while shooting 51 percent from the field. He is outplaying nearly everyone in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, and his hard work and dedication should be rewarded. Further, by Young being an NBA All-Star, it allows the NBA to have another superstar in the making. The NBA is losing world-renowned superstars due to retirement and injuries such as: three time NBA champion Dwyane Wade and two time NBA champion Kevin Durant. By building the youth with deserved credibility and accolades, it allows the league to have notable stars that can lead its future.
However, Young may not be an NBA All-Star because of the amount of talented and illustrious players in the Eastern Conference. The Eastern Conference consists of accomplished veterans that tend to always be NBA All-Stars. Some players include: 2016 NBA champion and six time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving, 2019 NBA MVP and three time NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo and five time NBA All-Star Kyle Lowry. Although Young’s numbers are exceptional, voters may lean towards the esteemed and more marketed players. In addition, despite Young having phenomenal numbers, it is the beginning of the season, and his numbers may decline. It is hard to maintain playing at this remarkable level night in, night out. As a result, it may cause him to miss being an NBA All-Star.
Therefore, Trae Young will not be an NBA All-Star starter, but rather an NBA All-Star reserve. Young’s numbers will decline towards the league’s average as the season progresses, but he will continue to put on fantastic and memorable performances in every game he plays. His hard work will be recognized by his peers, coaches and fans, and he will be rewarded as an NBA All-Star reserve for the first time in his young and promising career.