Trae Young is now best known to Bulls fans as Ayo Dosunmu’s son, but he also happens to be one of the best young point guards in the NBA.
Young is fresh off the second All-Star season of his career and his first All-NBA honor (Third Team). He finished the season as the NBA’s leader in total points scored right in front of DeMar DeRozan, and he also ended the regular season third in dimes per game (9.7). As annoying as his foul-drawing antics and lack of defense might be at times, there is no questioning the Atlanta Hawks have one of the NBA’s brightest stars on their roster. But it turns out Trae Young never thought that would be the case.
Well, to be clear, I’m sure Young always thought he would rise up the league ranks. What he didn’t think was that it would happen out East. The 23-year-old guard joined Bulls commentator Stacey King on the latest episode of his Gimmie The Hot Sauce Podcast, and he revealed that he envisioned wearing red on draft night:
“To be honest, the day of the draft, I didn’t think I was going to Atlanta. I thought I was either going to Orlando at six, or if I fell to seven, go to y’all …
Obviously, I’m a fan of the history of the game. So I knew what that city brings, and [its] basketball fans. That was an exciting workout. I remember having that workout too. It was a fun time.”
Atlanta traded their No. 3-overall pick to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the No. 5 and No. 12 picks in that draft. Young told King he never saw the trade coming nor thought he would be a part of it when selected at No. 5. Instead, he walked into the night fully thinking he would go in either the No. 6 or No. 7 spot.
The Magic went on to grab Mo Bamba and the Bulls took Wendell Carter Jr. after Young came off the board. Of course, Carter Jr. is now off the Bulls roster and – funny enough – in Orlando, while Bamba’s future appears to be up for debate as he heads toward unrestricted free agency. In other words, neither pick has worked out as anyone had hoped, whereas Young has already worked out better than anyone could have imagined.
Am I actually kicking myself that Young didn’t end up in Chicago? No. It’s not like the guy had any say in where he was going that night, and who knows if the front office changes this organization desperately needed even come to fruition if Young ends up in town. But it’s still hard to play a game of “what if?”