Video: Hawks’ Trae Young nutmegs Deandre Ayton in All-Star Rising Stars Challenge
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young has shown off his ballhandling skills during his rookie season and they were on display again during the NBA Rising Stars Challenge as part of the All-Star Weekend’s festivities.
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton was the unlucky recipient of an up-close look of Young’s dribbling savvy. The 7’1″ Ayton got down to check one of the quickest players in the league and it didn’t end well for him.
Young with another nutmeg pic.twitter.com/QqABWr8KFs
— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019
There are reasons why the 20-year-old Young has been handed the keys to the Atlanta offense, and this play is one of them. Lightning quick, Young has averaged 16.9 points and 7.6 assists per game through his first 58 professional contests entering the All-Star break.
Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, with Young falling to Dallas at No. 5 before he was promptly swapped to the Hawks in exchange for Luka Doncic. While the Hawks have come under scrutiny for letting Doncic, another Rising Stars Challenge participant, fall through their grasp, they managed to net both Young and a future first-round draft pick in the deal.
The U.S. squad would go on to claim victory with Young erupting for 25 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds off the bench in just 24 minutes. While he has dialed back his three-point shooting extravagance during the regular season with Atlanta, Young got back to his collegiate ways Friday and went 6-for-11 from downtown.
He was outdone in the scoring department by teammates Kyle Kuzma (35) and Jayson Tatum (30), but unlike that duo, Young will likely be back for more next year, bringing his bag of tricks with him.