Wednesday, December 8 2021

We’re smack dab in the middle of football season, but it’s never a bad time to highlight one of the great Sooners of the past in other sports. As ESPN attempts to rank the Top 100 basketball players entering the 2021 season, Trae Young finds himself at number 17 on ESPN’s rankings.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about Young, who rose 12 spots from the 2020 version of the list.

One big question: What’s next? Young is one of the most ascendant young stars in the league, but the big questions here are does he have another gear and can he click into it this season? The keys are shooting efficiency and turnovers. Last season, Young made just 34.3% of his 3s (and just 31.3% in the postseason) and was among the league’s leaders in giveaways. If he can improve in those areas, he immediately becomes an MVP candidate for Atlanta. – Kirk Goldsberry, ESPN

Why he rose 12 spots: You might be old enough to remember when people (guilty!) wondered whether Young’s size would limit his playoff value. Instead, Young delivered one of the best postseason debuts in recent memory, leading the Hawks to the conference finals with 28.8 PPG and 9.5 APG and firmly establishing himself as a star. Kevin Pelton

Trae Young had a tremendous postseason for the Atlanta Hawks, helping them reach the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the eventual NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks.

In his first postseason, the former Oklahoma Sooners star averaged 28.8 points per game, 9.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

Trae Young is one of the best young players in the NBA and his game has only gotten better since entering the league. Heading into his fourth season with the Hawks, he should be one of the favorites for league MVP in the 2021-2022 season.

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