The lottery balls were selected just over a week ago, and with the draft just a few weeks away, it’s time to decide where the former Sooner star would fit the best. Outside of the top three draft positions, most of the opinions and mock drafts all differentiate were many of these young stars will end up. Trae Young finished the season averaging 27 points and nearly nine assists, showing his ability to create offense from just about anywhere.
If the season ended at the end of 2017, Trae Young might have been the consensus number one choice, but after he and his team slumped he looks to still find a home with a top lottery pick. In my opinion, there are four teams that would embrace Trae Young’s style more than any other.
First up, the Orlando Magic (pick 6)
The Orlando Magic started the season hot, playing well above their expectations. But that slowly faded, and they made the decision to trade their 2014 first round pick point guard Elfrid Payton, and left the team in the hands of Shelvin Mack and D.J. Augustin. The offense stalled in the final two months, going from 103 PPG to just above 97. Trae Young would make immediate contributions for this offense, and potentially be the teams best scorer and play maker day one.
Next, the Cleveland Cavaliers (pick 8 from the Nets)
The Cavaliers are in the midst of an Eastern Conference finals battle with the Celtics, but after this season, the team will wait in limbo while the king of Cleveland, Lebron James, decides his next move. Earlier in the season, Lebron said how much he loved Trae Young’s game, and with the Cavs potentially having to restart the team all over again, Trae’s immediate production could help them solve the loss of Lebron. Not saying Trae Young will remotely replace him, but finding a player who can score and pass well always helps during a massive rebuild.
Third, the New York Knicks (Pick 9)
Last season, the Knicks skipped over Dennis Smith Jr for Frank Ntilikna, a decision many people questioned then and now. Smith was a star in the making for the Mavs, and Ntilkina still has a lot of room to grow in the NBA, only playing 21 minutes a game. His averages of six points and three assists show his role on offense was lost in the mix. Trae Young’s scoring and passing combined with a healthy return of Kristaps Porzingis could spark something special in the Big Apple. It’s hard to tell whether or not Trae could handle the criticism from passionate Knick fans, especially if his shots don’t fall early on. The addition of David Fizdale would help Trae on the defensive end, and Trae would help Fizdale reconnect with a potential star point guard, like he had in Memphis with Mike Conley.
Finally, the Philadelphia 76ers (Pick 10 from the Lakers)
When the 76ers traded up to take Markelle Fultz, many believed “The Process” was near completion, but when Fultz took the court his jump shot looked lost, and then the whole season was lost while Fultz dealt with nagging injuries. During this stretch, the team realized they have their point guard of the future in Ben Simmons, but his abilities stretch further than that. With J.J. Redick potentially leaving, the team will need a guard who can shoot the three, because Redick basically made a quarter of the teams three point shots this season. If Fultz can’t figure out his scoring, the team will need to add someone who can; and no one seemed to do that better than Trae Young while he was at OU. Trae Young’s ball handling combined with his ability to spot up shoot would play off Ben Simmons perfectly.
Wherever Trae Young lands, the team will be gaining someone with elite offensive skills, and lightning quick speed. His release is quick like Klay Thompson, and his size wont slow him down, because of his ability to penetrate and dish the ball. When his name is selected on June 21, Sooners fans will have a new team to root for.