Trae Young got the message.
Loudly and clearly.
Consider what the Hawks did in 28 days this summer at the point guard position:
June 21: Acquired Young, the No. 5 overall pick, in the NBA draft.
July 13: Agreed to a trade with the Nets for veteran Jeremy Lin.
July 19: Agreed to a three-team trade to send two-year starter Dennis Schroder to the Thunder.
“Obviously when they move the point guard they’ve had for a while, their starting point guard, it definitely opened my eyes,” Young told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from New Jersey, where he was taking part in the Rookie Transition Program. “It shows how much they are committed to me. Bringing Jeremy in as well is a good fit for us. I know there is a lot on my plate. I’m looking forward to it.”
Young said he has briefly spoken with Lin, who spent time in China this offseason, about how much each looked for to playing together next season. Young said he is sure to learn from Lin and another recently acquired veteran, Vince Carter, as he begins in professional career. Carter has been in the NBA longer than Young has been alive.
One of the issues facing the rebuilding Hawks and first-year coach Lloyd Pierce this season will be how to deploy the point guards. Asked whether he or Lin should be the starter, Young was non-committal.
“We’ll just wait and see what happens,” Young said. “I don’t get caught up in all of that. I know I’m going to get a chance to play and do what I do on the court. I just need to control what I can control.”
Young spent much of his summer working out in his native Oklahoma. The Hawks sent an assistant coach to work him out for a couple of days. Young said he intends to arrive in Atlanta, for the first time since his introductory news conference, to work out with teammates ahead of the season.
The NBA began the Rookie Transition Program in 1986 and offers rookies skills and information to navigate their new careers. Players undergo training in media, career development and finance. Guest speakers this year included several current and former NBA players. Grant Hill, a co-owner of the Hawks and soon to be Hall of Fame inductee, was one of the speakers.
“They are telling us a lot of stuff,” said Young, who is with fellow first-round picks and teammates Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman. “They told us, if something goes wrong or there is a mistake made, they can say at least they told us. Some of the stuff is new but a lot of it is stuff we already know and need to be reminded of.”
It hasn’t been all seminars. Young got on the basketball court with some young Junior NBA campers for some fun. Before the program, Young was in New York for the rookie photo shoot. A video made its way around the internet of friends Michael Porter Jr. and Young in a 3-point shooting contest. Porter won – at least one of the contests.
“He won the first one,” Young said with a laugh. “They didn’t get the second one on video. It’s all good. I’ll let him get that.”
The Hawks will begin training camp in September. Their first preseason game will be Oct. 1, and Young and his teammates will open the 2018-19 regular season in New York on Oct. 17.
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