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Trae Young: The Shooting Star the Lakers Missed by a Year

January 4th, 2018 · No Comments · Basketball, Lakers, NBA

Remember when Lonzo Ball looked special? Back during his one season at UCLA? Wow. Look at that pass. And he can make some threes despite that tragic shooting stroke! That kid is someone the Lakers can build their team around.



And then the world got a load of Trae Young, likely a one-and-done Oklahoma point guard, and everyone involved with the Lakers knows they missed … missed on a once-in-a-decade talent by one year.

(Assuming the Philadelphia 76ers would again screw up by taking the 2018 version of Markelle Fultz with the top pick.)

Go ahead, look at this 10 minutes of video, see if you don’t agree that Trae Young is crazy good.

Trae Young is the point guard you could build a team around, so this is a great year to be a bad NBA team. (Aside from the Lakers, that is, who don’t have a first-round pick despite the second-worst record in the league.)

And who is excited about Trae Young? At the moment, the worst-in-the-NBA Atlanta Hawks must be planning on losing the rest of their games — to make sure they have the best odds for getting the top pick.

Trae Young has the same sort of court vision as does Lonzo, but he beats Lonzo all to heck (and back) with his Curry-like scoring from distance combined with his ability to get to the rim. (Neither of which is in Lonzo’s tool box.)

It was Steph Curry himself who gave the official stamp of approval on Trae Young the other night when he called Young “unbelievable” and said: “I call it the flair, but it seems like he’s always composed and knows what he’s trying to do every time he has the ball in his hands. He shoots a lot of deep threes and has a creativity to his game that’s just so fluid to watch.”

If you are Lakers president Magic Johnson, watching Trae Young must be painful to watch. Magic must wish Young had been born a year earlier, when the Lakers were picking high.

Young leads the NCAA both in points (29.4) and assists (10.6) per game and is the focal point of everything his Oklahoma team does.

He appears to be small, even frail. He allegedly is 6-2, 180 pounds, but he must have been weighed while holding a medicine ball.

But who else is an NBA superstar despite looking a bit like a 99-pound weakling. Could it be … Steph Curry? (And it doesn’t take much athleticism to have more than Lonzo has.)

Young says he patterned his game after Curry and, absolutely, he is the closest thing to a Curry clone we have seen since Steph came out of Davidson nearly a decade ago.

Young clearly recognizes the zeitgeist of the modern NBA — threes and layups. And passes that lead to teammates’ threes and layups.

Lonzo Ball will be a competent NBA player. He will always be a good assist guy, and maybe he can shape up his go-to-the rim game, and eventually he has to make his free throws, doesn’t he? And maybe he will fix his shooting stroke, which is so ugly that it (by itself) should keep anyone from listening to anything his father, LaVar, says about basketball, ever — given that LaVar allowed Lonzo to settle on that hideous shot that begins somewhere near Lonzo’s left ear. (Lonzo is right-handed.)

But Lonzo will never be a Trae Young who, barring injuries, will be a very big deal in the NBA by this time next year.

Short term, we get to see if Trae Young and the Sooners can win an NCAA championship (Lonzo went out in the final 16), and if it comes down to an up-tempo game … you have to like Oklahoma’s chances.

The Lakers, Lonzo and Trae Young. As far as Los Angeles is concerned, the wrong two got hooked up.



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