Many have already called it wraps on the Rookie of the Year award by already giving it to Luka Doncic after having a stellar first half of the season. I’m here to remind you that their are two halves in the season and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young is pushing his way into the conversation for the award.
Young had a solid first half of the season but struggled with being a consistent shooter. However, Young has found his stroke going back to just before All-Star weekend began. He’s continued that impressive shooting performance since, shooting 48% from the field post All-Star weekend compared to 40% before the All-Star break. He’s vastly improved his three point shot by shooting 51% from behind the arc compared to 31% the first half of the season.
Trae Young has also been a distributor on the floor averaging 9.5 assists per game post All-Star game raising his average to 7.8 on the season (6th in the NBA).
The question remains, is Young’s high level of mid-season play enough to trump a full consistent season from Doncic? My answer is yes. Especially if he can keep up this level of play and I don’t see any reason he shouldn’t be able to. He’s getting plenty of minutes and the Hawks are relying on him for scoring as he is shooting 20.7 times a game since the break. Both of those with improved consistency could allow Trae Young to surpass Doncic for the Rookie of the Year award.
That isn’t in any way discrediting what Doncic has done on the floor for Dallas this season. Doncic started out the season strong and ran away early with the Rookie of the Year award. The Mavericks have leaned on Doncic to be the team’s leading scorer and ball distributor. At 6’7″, he also provides the team with rebounding.
Here are the two players season stats as of today…
- Luka Doncic 21.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.6 APG
- Trae Young 18.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 7.8 APG
Currently, it looks to be neck and neck with Doncic just ahead of Young for the award, with Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton behind those two. Marvin Bagley is trying to make his case after playing really well lately but it is too little too late for Bagley to enter the conversation.