Johnson Not Surprised By Trae Young's Rookie Season

Former Hawk and seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson knew that Trae Young would shine in his first season

Tiki and Tierney
June 24, 2019 - 7:48 pm

NBA rookies typically go through an adjustment period during their first year in the league. They might show flashes and there, but consistent production often proves elusive.

Unless you’re Trae Young. The fifth overall pick in 2018, Young averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 assists as a rookie. 

Is it surprising that Young, only 20, had that type of success this past season?

“No, I’m not surprised,” former Hawk and seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson said on Tiki & Tierney. “He knows how to play. When you watch a guy play, you look at his instincts: how he passes, knowing when to pass and making the right plays – and he’s done that since I’ve been watching.”

Young got better – much better – as the season went on. He averaged 16.9 points and 7.6 assists before the All-Star break and 24.7 points and 9.2 assists after it. He also shot better from the floor, at the foul line, and from distance.

“What had to happen with Trae was he (needed) to get his confidence scoring and shooting the basketball,” said Johnson, who played for the Hawks from 2005-12. “Once he got that, it was a wrap.”