There's no question Trae Young has a bright future ahead of him. He's already exceeded expectations in some people's eyes given the doubt his game could translate to the NBA.
Career averages of 25.3 points and 9.1 assists after four years will definitely make a point that you belong that's for sure. The question now though centers around his ceiling at this level.
Can Young one day become a legit MVP candidate? Is that time coming soon?
A Crowded Field
For the second-straight offseason, Luka Doncic is the favorite to win NBA MVP, and it's clear he's the new "next man up" for this market. Young currently sits with just the tenth-best odds (+3250 consensus), but as we know, this can all change once the season gets going.
As I've pointed out many times, the human element in sports is often overlooked, but it can have a massive impact on things like MVP voting. Voter fatigue is a real thing, and it's the reason why you have so many different winners over the years, as opposed to just the best two or three players over a decade.
LeBron James has won it four times, but the last was 2013. You could easily argue he was worthy of a few more in the past eight seasons. Michael Jordan won five MVPs, never more than back-to-back years though, and never even three over a four-year span.
They both could have another five and no one would really complain.
That being said, there's a lot of names still ahead in the pecking order here. Luka is still the clear best bet at this point, and Ja Morant (+1200), Jayson Tatum (+1200), and Devin Booker (+2250) are three other young names who have garnered some conversation, with better team results to go along with it.
Obviously, the Hawks first have to show that their trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 wasn't just a fluke, then catch up with the rising organizations like the Mavs, Grizzlies, and defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics next.
This doesn't even include others like Joel Embiid (+600) and even another push from Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500), and Nikola Jokic (+925). Even though those last two have already won back-to-back, fitting right into the formula of "voter fatigue" starting next year, you can't rule either out.
Trae Young is still clearly ascending, but I wouldn't bet on him to win an MVP just yet.