The Atlanta Hawks made a very bold move before the start of this season on the 2018 NBA draft night by trading forward Luka Doncic for point guard Trae Young.
Unfortunately for Young, because of this trade, the two young stars are going to be compared to each other for the rest of their careers. It’s certainly not the easiest thing to deal with, Doncic has been an incredible success for the Mavericks and is easily one of the favorites for this season’ Rookie of the Year.
Young spoke to Marc Stein of the New York Times on how instead of hiding from these comparisons, he is embracing them.
"I know it's a part of my life now. I tell everybody that hopefully we're both 15-plus years down the line and we're still playing and it's a competition that's been going since draft night.
"I think it's going to go on forever, so might as well just accept it and take it on as a challenge."
Trae Young’s comments came after one of the rookie’s best games this season in a loss to the Chicago Bulls in a match that went to quadruple overtime. The 20-year-old notched up an impressive 49 points along with 16 assists which makes him the only rookie in the history of the league to score at least 45 point and 15 assists in a single match. Not only that, he joins some very elite company in LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the only rookies with 40 plus points and 10 plus assists in a single game.
Trae Young hopes to build a historical rivalry with Luka Doncic:
"It can go down as a battle like guys like Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird," Young said on the latest episode of The Ringer's "Winging It" podcast. "They battled for years and they were always compared to each other. It could be something like that, where we both can be great."
Although all the hype this season has been surrounding Luka Doncic and his rise to power in the league, Trae Young is on his way to creating a name for himself. During college, there was a certain comparison that Young always received, that being compared to Steph Curry because of their three-point shooting.
The Atlanta Hawks may not be too pleased in hindsight about giving away Doncic but it’s clear that they have a very talented player in their hands that could develop into something very special.