NBA Mock Draft: DeAndre Ayton joins the Hawks

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 09: Deandre Ayton
TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 09: Deandre Ayton /
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66. . PG. Oklahoma. Trae Young. 5. player

Every day, I dedicate at least an hour to sitting alone, wondering how Trae Young is a freshman. And then another hour to wonder about the intricacies of his great debut season — how did Lon Kruger keep this kid a secret all summer while building an offensive roster that works beautifully for him and inspiring an all-the-time green light within him?

So that’s two hours with my mind on Young every day, and I still feel like it’s not enough. Statistically, he’s halfway through one of those years that will make people laugh in twenty years when they go back and dig in. Young is shooting 41 percent on TEN 3-point attempts per game, getting to the line 9.3 times per game and keeping the defense honest with 10.7 assists per game.

To open Big 12 competition, Young led Oklahoma to a victory over undefeated TCU with 39 points and 14 assists. The player who’s made headlines as much for his eye-popping statistical lines (26 points and 22 assists against Northwestern before the TCU blitzkrieg) as his ridiculous shooting range, saved his best for the most important game of the Sooners’ season.

If he can continue to draw fouls consistently, it will hardly matter that he occasionally struggles to finish through contact. He creates good shots going to the rim, and it won’t take as much of an interior game for him to keep defenses honest as it would for some. He leads the nation in both scoring and assists, with no sign of slowing down soon.