There is absolutely not denying the 2018 NBA Draft Class had a multitude of talented young players to watch. However, it would be DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley who led the pack as the first and second pick. Hindsight, they say, is always twenty-twenty. It is very easy for us to question some particular picks today (looking at you Mohamed Bamba and Mikal Bridges). But there are two players who have stood out among all else. And looking back, they were ironically enough traded for one another.
The Atlanta Hawks would select Luka Doncic with the third pick in the draft. A couple picks later, the Dallas Mavericks would close in on Trae Young with the fifth pick in the draft. Later that evening, both would be traded for one another. Atlanta ended up with Young, Dallas with Doncic. Remember that hindsight thing? Well, today one could say it was one of the most even sided trade in the history of the NBA. Both teams, in a way, changed their futures completely.
In their first seasons, it was clear who had played professional ball before. Luka wasted no time averaging 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and a solid 6 APG. Trae Young struggled early on, but went on a tear the final few months of the season. He wasn’t to far behind, with 19.1 PPG, 8.1 APG, and a pretty astounding 3.1 TPG considering he was a rookie. But this season is playing a completely different tune.
Young is putting up 28 PPG, 8.7 APG, with a .464 FG%. Not to mention he has some ridiculous highlights already. Doncic is at 28.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 9.1 APG. 0.9 APG away from averaging a triple-double. It’s also important to remember that Young is 21, while Doncic is 20. Together, they are putting the NBA on watch as they hope to continue their dominance.
So the question comes forth: who won the trade? Did anyone? Or was this one of those situations that both teams walk away happy? From the standpoint of most NBA Fans, one would be safe to assume both players are excelling because of the trade itself.
No, that does not mean Doncic and Young would be lesser of players if the trade never went through. But I would be willing to bet they wouldn’t have evolved at this pace in any other city. Young has made Atlanta his home, and Atlanta has embraced their new star. Dallas, who loves their INTL Players, is already ready to build a statue for Doncic.
Either way, as the future for both these players unfolds it is an exciting time to be a fan of the NBA. June would be a much more enjoyable month if one day, Atlanta and Dallas met in the NBA Finals. Trae Young vs Luka Doncic. Has the intense and competitive rivalry of Magic and Bird reborn with these two? Discuss below!
Featured Photo Credit: Charles Curtis/USA Today
For advertising and sponsorship opportunities with the Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Info@GameChangerSportsNetwork.com