The Ringer: 'Trae Young Is Making the Leap'

Ben Ladner

Trae Young has taken a major step forward in his second year with the Hawks, surging into the discussion for the 2020 All Star game despite the Hawks' rough start to the season. This week, Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer explored how that has happened and what it means for the Hawks both now and in the future. 

"Both the Hawks’ coaching staff and their front office have the same long-term goal—to build a contender around Young," Uggetti writes. "Even if it requires time, there is no greater value in the NBA than having both a plan and a star. The Hawks continue to look like they have both." 

Trae Young Is Making the Leap, As a Player and a Leader for the Hawks

Just over a year ago, Trae Young sat near one of the practice courts at USC's Galen Center, slipped off a pair of pink Adidas sneakers, and quietly mumbled responses to the questions of a lone reporter. At that point, there wasn't much for Young to say.

Young has already proven himself as an All-Star-caliber player, but Atlanta is counting on him to be something more to achieve the goals it wants to. Uggetti dives into Young's motivation as he grows into a franchise player, the process of how he improves his game, and how he's maturing as a vocal leader for the Hawks. 

"We’ve asked a lot of Trae, to lead this team in his second year, and he does that on the court by example, Lloyd Pierce says. "We’re also asking him to do that with his voice, his leadership, encouraging his teammates, because he’s the guy who can facilitate and communicate.”

He spent much of the summer working on his midrange game with his trainer, Alex Bazzell, which has resulted in one of the most devastating floaters in all of basketball. He already serves as a mentor and voice of reason for other young Hawks, which has been important for Atlanta during its losing streak. 

"I've obviously made a big jump from last year to this year," Young tells Uggetti. "but we haven't done anything yet." 

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