The 2020-21 NBA season is nearly here and, after the longest break in recorded history, the Atlanta Hawks will return to action in the coming days. Before the regular season tips off on Dec. 23, the Peachtree Hoops is coming together for a ten-part roundtable series, setting the stage for what’s to come. In part seven, our staff weighs in on whether Trae Young will make an All-NBA team in his third professional campaign.
Brad Rowland: Young had an All-NBA profile from a statistical standpoint in 2019-20, but the reality is that many voters simply won’t consider a player on a team with a poor win-loss record. This year, that shouldn’t be a problem for Young with an improved Hawks roster, and even if he doesn’t replicate his top-four finishes in both scoring and assists, it is safe to assume that the statistical production will be there. It is really tough to crack the top six among guards, but I think it will happen if he stays healthy and operates at or near the baseline he found last season.
Wes Morton: I’m going to say yes, but just barely. Unfortunately for Trae Young, the league is fairly stacked at guard, but two of the star guards who made an All-NBA team, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, are both north of 30 and may take an adjustment period to acclimate to their respective new teams. This could create an opening for Young to beat out those two plus Bradley Beal, who will be sharing a backcourt, and thus touches, with Westbrook, for a third team spot.
Glen Willis: Well, last year at this time, I called Young’s chances at making the All-Star team unlikely. So take that error into consideration as you contemplate my input on this one. I will say this, if he doesn’t make All-NBA, it won’t be because he doesn’t have the numbers to warrant a selection. This likely will come down to whether or not the team wins enough games to justify serious consideration and voters are deciding on the last couple of guard spots. And a good bit of that will come down to what Young can do to contribute more on defense and to keep other players consistently involved by sharing the ball on offense.
Daniel Comer: I’ll project him to get a second-team nod. If Young maintains his usage and continues to pile up numbers, he should be a shoo-in, provided the Hawks make the playoffs.
Josh Lane: If Young puts up the numbers he did last season, as well as contribute to a winning basketball team that makes the playoffs, then yes. It would be very hard to not include Young on any of the All-NBA teams.
Rashad Milligan: Yes, and he should’ve made it last season.
Graham Chapple: The one thing that could hold Young back when it comes to these sorts of accolades is the team success, that’s it. His numbers should be astronomical again this season. If Young can lift the Hawks to a 6-8 seed with, what everyone expects, a strong statistical output on improved efficiency then yes, he should make All-NBA. Will he? Yes, I think so.
Ryan Kerley: I’m going to say yes. I don’t know if it will be first, second or third, but I think Trae Young will improve, and that is because the team is improved around him. He will have more players to rely on. Young was top-five in assists last year with a bad Hawks roster. They are a lot better this year. I think he could average a double-double and lead the Hawks to a playoff appearance.
Joel Lorenzi: I want to say it’s possible. Most awards are just as much based on team record and performance as they are individual talent and performance. The biggest culprit of that algorithm is the All-Star game. Young was a starter in last year’s game, with his production being too undeniable to snub, even with a poor team record. The Hawks have moved much closer to playoff contention this season, and with Young at the head of the operation, it’s hard to imagine that he isn’t prepped for a big season that won’t come with its fair share of accolades, even as big as All-NBA. With Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry returning, it does make the All-NBA thing harder for a guard, though.
Zach Hood: Will be a lot of competition, but I’ll say yes. I expect the numbers to be there, and if he makes any sort of leap it’s a lock. Assuming the Hawks are a playoff team, he’s going to have better numbers than maybe another other guard so he should be there if the wins are there.