The main focus of the Dallas Mavericks this offseason has been improving their roster. So far, the team has done it for re-signing Kyrie IrvingSeth Curry signing, change of grant williamsand writing Animated Dereck II and Prosper by Olivier-Maxence.
However, this could just be the beginning, as players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee have been linked as tradable assets. However, one player who is virtually untouchable is Luka Doncic. The four-time All-Star is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 32.4 points.
By contrast, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young was mentioned once in trade talks early in the offseason. In June, Jovan Buha of Atletico (subscription required) reported that the Los Angeles Lakers had internal discussions about what a trade for Young would look like.
Young and Doncic will be linked forever, as the stars were traded on draft night. In January, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon he wrote about the connection between the two. He stated that both players are “elite as scorers and passers” and “both clashed with their first head coaches and led their teams to surprising conference finals after coaching changes.”
In a recent interview on his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” Green sat down with Young to discuss his comparisons to Doncic. During the interview, Green told Young: “You’ve been an All-NBA, he’s an All-NBA, you’ve been an All-Star, he’s an All-Star, neither has won MVP, they both lead their team to a end of conference”. “
He went on to bring up the media comparison between them, stating that Doncic is highly praised while Young is painted as this bad guy.
So how similar are Doncic and Young? How does the Mavs star stack up against his draft class rival?
Let’s break them down.
Through five NBA seasons, Doncic has averaged 27.6 points on 46.6% shooting overall and 33.8% from deep. In his rookie season he averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Four seasons later, Doncic has taken his game to the next level.
In the 2022-2023 season, he averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists while making a career-high 49.6% of his shots.
On the other hand, Young has a career average of 25.5 points. During his rookie season, he averaged 19.1 points, and last season he scored 26.2 points on 42.9% shooting.
That being said, Young does have an advantage over Doncic in the passing department, as he has a career average of 9.3 assists per game and dished out 10.2 per contest last year. Additionally, Young has a better career 3-point percentage than Doncic at 35.1%.
However, Doncic leads him in points, rebounds and overall shooting. Defensively, both players rank near the bottom in terms of defensive stats.
As for prizes, both players are not far apart. Doncic’s list of accomplishments includes being a four-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA First Team. He also won the 2019 Rookie of the Year award and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Young is a two-time All-Star who was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2022. Like Doncic, he was also named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team.
While both players have yet to win MVP, Doncic has come closer than Young. In 2022, he finished fifth in voting, and in 2023 he dropped to eight. Last season, Doncic fell just short of the NBA scoring title, trailing Joel Embiid by one point.
One last thing to point out is their team’s playoff record with them on the team. During his tenure with the Mavericks, Doncic made the playoffs three times. In two of the appearances, he didn’t make it out of the first round. In 2022, however, he reached the Western Conference Finals.
Similarly, Young and the Hawks have made the playoffs three times. Like Doncic, he, too, struggled to get out of the first round twice, while reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021.
In terms of playoff numbers, Doncic leads the way. For his career, he has a playoff average of 32.5 points on 47.3 percent shooting. Every year Dallas has made the playoffs with Doncic on the roster, he’s averaged 30 points or more.
By comparison, Young has a playoff average of 26.4 points on 40.2 percent shooting. Last season, he helped lead the Hawks through the Play-In Tournament. Young averaged 29.2 points in the postseason.
When comparing the two, both players are pretty similar when it comes to their NBA careers. While Doncic ranks above Young in specific categories, is that enough to give him a thumbs up?
Up to you!