Last Word On Basketball

Top NBA Players 2022-23: #16 Trae Young

NBA Champion

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks motions as if to say, "quiet," as he torched the Denver Nuggets for a game-high 42 points during the fourth quarter of Atlanta's 125-121 win on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Trae Young is the next player up for the best players for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Young has shown so much potential in his very young career and still has so much potential. He’s been one of the best shooters over the last couple of years and debatably the best playmaker.

Young’s been in the league for four years, where he’s spent each year with the Hawks. Since day one Young has been the focal point of the offense. The team has some success as their best season under Young saw them in the eastern conference finals.  As for Young himself, he’s had two years in which he’s been named an All-Star and is a one-time All-NBA player.

Top NBA Players 2022-23: #16 Trae Young

Young’s 2021-22 Season

Young is an offensive juggernaut who keeps the Hawks alive with his ability to make the right plays. This can either be finding open teammates or taking over and scoring himself. Young led the league in both total points and assists this last season with 2155 total points and 737 total assists. He became the second player in NBA history to ever do this, following Tiny Archibald who did that in the 1972-73 season.

Now despite Young’s impressive stats, the Hawks weren’t as successful. They finished as the 8th seed and won one playoff game. This hindered Young’s accolades as he made the All-Star game and finished on the All-NBA third team. This sparked the debate of success versus stats as Young had the numbers just not the team’s success to keep up with others.

Young’s Flaws

Young’s biggest issue is his lack of defense at the point guard position. He’s an undersized point guard at 6’1″ and only weighs 164 lbs. He’s an obvious mismatch to most players on him as he doesn’t have the size to power them back. He’s also been top 10 in player usage for the last three years, tiring him out on offense and causing a lack of effort.

Young has also had trouble keeping his turnover rate down. He finished first in turnovers this last season with a total of 303. He tends to force the ball into windows that aren’t open. When he doesn’t have the ball in his hand he’s also pretty much ineffective as he lacks the off-ball movement of other shooters of his caliber.

2022-23 Season Preview

Most of Young’s flaws should be covered by the newly acquired Dejounte Murray. Murray is a plus defender who can also play make and allow Young to experiment off the ball. He can also take some of the responsibilities off Young to lessen his usage and give him more energy. Murray will also help the Hawks’ record to rise. This could allow them to have a better standing and benefit Young accolade-wise.

As for Young’s numbers, they should be relatively the same. He most likely will see a slight dip in assists due to him not having the ball in his hands all the time. His points on the other hand could see an increase if he finds his footing as an off-ball threat. His efficiency will also benefit him as he can take smarter shots. He shot a career-high 38.2% from three last year, but even that will most likely improve.

Young has still so much to prove due to his lack of experience. He has the chance to move up in the player rankings for years to come with a new teammate who hides his flaws. He can also prove himself on the big stage with an improved team. Look for Young next year to have moved up these rankings with ease.

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