If the Bulls are about building a real foundation they must avoid the potential must see element of Trae Young.
Forget for a moment that Trae Young’s 3 point range extends seemingly from anywhere midcourt. Forget that Young led the nation in both scoring and assists at 27.4 points and 8.7 assists respectively. And forget that Young accomplished these feats while playing on one of the weakest Big 12 teams in the conference devoid of talent.
The Bulls had their fun working out the dynamic point guard Thursday who has shown a flair for the dramatics. They’ll do their due diligence in gathering as much intel as they can on Young heading into next weeks draft.
But with the seventh pick in Thursdays NBA draft, the Bulls will need to say goodbye for good. As hard as this may seem to some, they need to take a pass on Young.
Oh it’s true what Young had to say of his own self assessment as to why NBA teams should take a chance on him. When posed with the question, Young answered confidently. “Why would they take me? I mean, I don’t think there’s anybody like me in the draft,” Young said.
And there’s the rub. No one with his skill set and list of accomplishments is quite as polarizing an NBA prospect as Young. For every accolade that is heralded from his supporters, there are glaring holes that will prove difficult to ignore at the next level.
His weaknesses include below average strength and athleticism, which leaves him susceptible to getting overpowered. Also, defensively, he might be one of the worst defenders coming out of this draft for his position. His lack of athleticism and burst could turn him into an easy target on defense early in his career.
The Gold Standard of the league is the Golden State Warriors. But the Bulls should continue to pattern themselves after the Boston Celtics if they want to contend.
The playoffs had no shortage of defensive difference makers who were 6’7 to 6’9 that could defend multiple positions. However, such traits aren’t readily present on this Bulls squad.
Kris Dunn has shown himself capable of becoming an elite level defensive point guard when given the chance. But where is the wing player who will make up for the defensive shortcomings of Zach Lavine. Lauri Markkanen is a budding star, but he’ll need over-sized help underneath to match up against opposing centers and provide help rebounding the ball.
How does Young’s characteristics help solve such glaring issues? Or rather does it create more problems for a much maligned coach to contend with?
Golden State’s success didn’t just depend on the shot making abilities of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. Golden States success was predicated on their ability to switch with multiple defenders. Even Boston was able to push Cleveland to a game 7 without the likes of Irving or Hayward because of those traits.
Fred Hoiberg’s system in a shooter’s league requires position less players who shoot and space the floor. And while Trae Young could help with that implementation, he’ll cause even more problems than the Bulls are prepared to deal with.
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