Trae Young’s dad reacts to Lakers speculation after move to Klutch Sports
The move of Atlanta Hawks star guard Trae Young to Klutch Sports has grabbed headlines of late. Being that two of the biggest clients of Klutch founder Rich Paul are none other than Los Angeles Lakers duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis, people could not help but connect the dots.
Young’s own father, Rayford, has spoken out about the rumors linking his son to a potential move to Hollywood. According to the Young family patriarch, one would only need to look at Trae’s history to realize that his signing with Klutch is anything but an indication of an impending move from the Hawks to the Lakers:
“I wish people would look at his history,” Rayford said, via Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “He’s never been a follower. When he won the Nike EYBL Peach Jam, he could have went to a super team after that. He turned down going to Oak Hill Academy, which is one of the top prep schools. People told him in high school that he wouldn’t be an All-American or a top recruit if he went to a local high school in Norman, Oklahoma. He averaged 44 points his senior year and was an All-American. Then they told him that he wouldn’t be a first-round pick if he went to Oklahoma. Calipari sat in our living room and told him, ‘If you want to be a lottery pick, you better come to Kentucky.’ He stayed with Oklahoma. He’s never been a follower. This whole thing with Klutch never had anything to do with going to play with the Lakers one day. They have a lot of people on their roster who aren’t with the Lakers.”
Fair point from Mr. Young there. His son joins a growing list of Klutch clients who are not in LA, including the likes of John Wall, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, Eric Bledsoe, and Ben McLemore, to name a few. Then again, a fair amount of Lakers players are also currently being represented by Paul. Aside from LeBron and Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dion Waiters, Talen Horton-Tucker, and JR Smith, who himself just secured a deal with the club, are all part of Klutch’s clientele.
Rayford went on to explain, however, that Trae’s heart young belongs in Atlanta. The way his son views the game is also an important factor of his desire to stay with the Hawks for the long haul:
“I would ask those fans who are fans of Trae or Atlanta fans to just look at his history,” he continued. “He knows this is a team effort, but he wants to have that statue next to Dominique (Wilkins) one day, man. I’ve told you this before, my son is 6-foot-1, but he thinks he’s the best player on the court no matter if LeBron is on the floor with him. Hopefully, it never backfires on him, but he’s got big balls and is very confident. He just knows what he wants to accomplish. I never think my son is going to join a super team unless they all come to Atlanta. He’s just got too much pride to do that. Maybe that pride will backfire, but who knows. My son has seen it happen here in Oklahoma City with (Kevin Durant). He wasn’t one of those who called him a cupcake, but he’s seen the backlash of something like that happen.”
Young will be up for a long-term extension after next season. While the Hawks have struggled in his first two seasons in the NBA, the expectation is he’ll wind up signing a max deal with them that will keep him in Atlanta for the long haul.