On Jan. 2, word broke that Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young was leading all Eastern Conference guards in fan voting for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. From there, Young continued to operate at the top of the fan vote in three straight public releases from the league. With that in mind and with fans accounting for 50 percent of the formula as the NBA chooses its starters for both conferences, the second-year guard was seemingly in the driver’s seat. Everything led up to Thursday, Jan. 23 for the final verdict, though, and Young ultimately garnered the starting nod.
2020 East All-Star starters:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 24, 2020
Atlanta’s Trae Young
Boston’s Kemba Walker
Toronto's Pascal Siakam
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (captain)
Philadlephia’s Joel Embiid
Young will be joined in representing the East by Kemba Walker, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and captain Giannis Antetokounmpo. The West will be represented by James Harden, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and captain LeBron James. With the starters in place, it should be noted that the NBA All-Star Draft will not take place until Thursday, Feb. 6, leaving some uncertainty as to whom Young will be playing alongside under the bright lights.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” said Young of his All-Star selectio. “After watching and admiring all these guys in the league growing up, I am truly humbled to be in this position. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, teammates, coaches, trainers and the Hawks organization, so I want to thank them for everything they’ve done for me along the way. It’s a great honor to be named a starter for the All-Star game but as a team, we have a lot left to accomplish on the court and I’m really excited about our future.”
While it isn’t a surprise to see the uber-talented guard rewarded in this way, Young will become the first member of the Hawks to start the All-Star Game since Dikembe Mutombo in 1998. Young is averaging 29.2 points and 8.6 assists while maintaining strong efficiency (59.4 percent true shooting) and, in short, he is carrying a massive workload for the Hawks and doing it quite well. In fact, Atlanta’s offense craters when Young leaves the floor and he acts as the centerpiece of the organization’s roster rebuild.
In addition to his responsibilities as an All-Star Game starter, Young is seemingly on track to be involved on All-Star Saturday Night, potentially taking part in the Skills Challenge and the Three-Point Contest, even if the NBA has not formally announced the fields for either event. It remains to be seen as to whether he’ll suit up for the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday evening (though he’ll surely be invited) but, either way, Young will have a full dance card when the NBA descends on Chicago in February.