Trae Young believes he can become an NBA All-Star this season.
Young, 21, knows his Atlanta Hawks need to vastly improve from their 29-win showing in 2018-19, and says they have “a chance to make the playoffs this years.”
The Rookie of the Year runner-up adds that passing is the most overlooked part of his dynamic game.
Per Yahoo Sports:
“I remember coming into high school, coming into college, they were saying, ‘He’s too small.’ Coming into the league, ‘He’s too small. He has bust potential.’ The whole trade with Luka Doncic. I don’t know that there’s just one [slight],” Young told Yahoo Sports. “And whenever they stop talking just about me, they start talking about the organization and talking about how they made the worst decision and how it could be the worst trade in NBA history. That all motivates me, for sure. There are little things that stick with me. You know my family and how we roll. I’m out to prove people wrong. I’ve got screenshots on my phone of negative tweets. It’s little things like that I still have on my mind and it motivates me every time. They’ll see.”
Young was fourth in the league in assists, an aspect of his game that places him already among the elite so early in his career.
“It’s definitely not surprising to me,” Young told Yahoo Sports. “I know the people close to me don’t necessarily think that’s surprising either. I’ve always been a really good passer. I think my scoring and my long-range shooting has been what’s stood out to most people, and so it’s easy to overlook my passing ability. Passing isn’t always the most sexiest thing to watch. So, I think people look past that and focus more on my shooting and the ball going into the basket. But I feel like my passing ability has been my best attribute growing up throughout high school, college and now the NBA. I’m just going to continue getting better.”
Young said he enjoyed some of the milestones he reached during his rookie campaign, but he has more lofty goals for the upcoming season.
“I believe I have a chance to be an All-Star this year,” Young told Yahoo Sports. “I think if we win as many games as I feel like we can and at least be in playoff contention, I think I have a good chance. The more we win, the better my odds are of getting into the All-Star Game and that’s my main focus: winning. I know my numbers will be there. I’m not worried about my numbers. I feel like the way we play, the fast pace we play, my numbers will be there. For me, it’s all about winning. If we’re winning, I have a really good chance of being in that All-Star game.”