Trae Young is giving NBA fans a reason to watch the Hawks on a nightly basis. That might be the best accomplishment of his rookie campaign.
The only thing that can reliably stop Trae Young at the moment is NBA refs who are overly inclined to call technical fouls. For the record, Young getting ejected in Sunday was absolutely ridiculous. Ultimately, his early shower against the Bulls doesn’t do anything to diminish his brilliance as of late.
In our estimation, his hot streak is the most fun individual offensive explosion in the NBA since Linsanity. It also has the benefit of being more sustainable than Jeremy Lin’s improbable run for the Knicks. Young may not score the ball this efficiently for the rest of his career, but he’s an offensive star right now for the Hawks.
Elsewhere in the class, injuries are starting to take their toll. Both Marvin Bagley and Jaren Jackson are on the shelf at the moment. Obviously, that opens up spots for other players in this week’s Rookie Rankings. We’ll start with a new name at No. 5.
5. Landry Shamet
Shamet’s recent play isn’t going to make the 76ers regret moving him in the Jimmy Butler deal, but it’s been a big boost for the Clippers. The rookie guard’s sweet shooting is a big reason the Clippers currently find themselves in the 8th spot in the Western Conference standings.
His role for a good NBA team is to be a perimeter shooter who can make shots at a high percentage. Shamet’s done just that for the Clippers during the last week. Making 15 of his last 28 shots behind the arc have helped him average over 17 points per game in Los Angeles’ recent three-game winning streak.
The key for Shamet will be to keep finding ways to impact winning when his 3-ball isn’t falling. That will be the difference between starter and valuable backup during his NBA career.