Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reckons fans' likening of Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young to Dubs superstar Steph Curry should probably wait.
The youngster was drawing comparisons to Curry even before reaching the NBA. His impressive shooting range at Oklahoma City would have always put him under such a microscope, but it's way too early to say how much of an impact he will have in the league.
The 20-year-old led the country in scoring and assists while in college. And, while he's shown how big of an offensive weapon he can be since getting drafted as the No.5 overall pick, Young has also struggled under the pressures of being the leader of a Hawks team undergoing a rebuild.
The Warriors and Hawks clashed on Monday night, with the defending champions claiming a 128-111 victory. Curry scored a game-high 30 points in what was his second outing since his return from injury.
And, asked about the comparisons between the two players ahead of the match, Kerr said that he had witnessed “incredible skill, shooting and passing the ball” from Young when the teams met earlier in the season, per Connor Letourneau of the San Franciso Chronicle.
The coach added that he believes the player is “inspired by Steph” but also that “any comparisons have to wait” and “you have to see how (Young) does over the next couple of years,” especially given Curry's deliberate but steady ascent.
Steve Kerr on the Young-Curry comparisons: “I understand the comparisons, but they probably should wait.” pic.twitter.com/cnXeSL75hn— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 3, 2018
Before his pre-game interview, Kerr spoke to ESPN about the impact Curry has had as it relates to NBA fans.
“Now you’re seeing a whole generation of point guards who are capable of shooting the ball from deep, of penetrating and being really tricky, and clever passers… and Trae Young embodies all of that,” he pointed out.
“You see Steph’s jersey in every arena. So you know that he’s inspiring a whole generation of young kids because they can relate to him. He looks like they do. He looks like a normal-sized human being and, what he does on the floor is so amazing that tons and tons of kids out there gravitate toward him and try to play like him.
"I think we’re going to see more and more players coming up who have that type of game, combining the deep shooting with the passing and the ball-handling, because people are working on their games as we speak all over the country and trying to emulate him. It’s fun to watch.”
What This Means
Young, who is averaging 15.8 points and 7.4 assists per game this season, has a lot of work to do. But there's no doubting he could reach Curry's present level in the future.
It probably doesn't help that he's been forced to carry a struggling team on his back in his first year in the league, however, that could be what shapes him into the player he needs to be to become a superstar in the NBA.