History officially shows that the Hawks drafted Luka Dončić with the third pick of June's NBA draft. Moments later, the Mavericks took Oklahoma point guard Trae Young with the fifth pick. But when Atlanta traded Dončić's draft rights to the Mavericks in exchange for the rights to Young and a 2019 first-round pick, some questioned whether the Hawks made a mistake by swapping Dončić for Young.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Andrew Sharp, Young asserted that he thinks the Hawks were right to invest in him.
“The thing with Luka, he’s a great player," Young said. "I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”
Thirteen games into their NBA careers hasn't provided much insight in determining which player will have the better career.
Young: 18.5 ppg, 8.2 apg, 3.3 rpg, 0.4 spg, 42.6% FG, 28.4% 3pt
Dončić: 19.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 spg, 47.4% FG, 38.6% 3pt
Statistically, there hasn't been much to separate the two players. When their two teams met earlier this season, Young's Hawks overcame a 20-point deficit to stun Dončić's Mavs, 111-104. Young tallied 17 points and five assists, while Dončić finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.
It's early, but the future looks encouraging for the careers of both Dončić and Young.