Trae Young has that his marksman reputation would suggest. In fact, three of the first five years of his career have registered as well-below average: 32% as a rookie, 34% in '20-21 and 33% this past season. The best he's ever shot was 38% in '21-22. Even his lone college season was a pedestrian 36%.
You're going to argue that these unremarkable percentages are more reflective of a difficult shot diet than Young's actual shooting talent. You're right. Young is not an average shooting talent. Anyone who knows anything about basketball will concede that.
But at some point, results are results, and Young -- who has complete control over the difficulty of his own shot diet, by the way -- simply has not been an efficient 3-point shooter over the course of his career. As a response to this, Young slowed his gunning this past season with 3-pointers accounting for a career-low 29% of his total attempts, per Cleaning the Glass.
That came out to about six 3s per game, and Young doesn't believe that's enough -- particularly under new coach Quin Snyder, who wants the 3s flying in high volume. Speaking on his new podcast, 'From the Point,' Young noted that one of his main focuses heading into next season is to "getting good shots and ... making sure my 3-ball is back to where it needs to be."
The "getting good shots" part of this answer is what's important. When Young gets himself into trouble is when he starts launching impulsively -- early in the clock, without much movement, etc. It's a fine line to walk for a player with Young's ability. His 3-ball, and the range at which he can shoot it, is such a threat, and Atlanta's offense, and team in general, goes to another level, as Young notes in the pod, when he's being aggressive as a shooter and scorer.
But there's a point of diminishing returns, and Young has crossed that point too often in the past. It's all about finding the right balance, and it sounds like Young's head is in the right place for that. He knows it can't be a pure volume play. He knows he has to seek and take good, quality shots, and plenty of those should be available -- particularly if he implements a little more off-ball movement alongside Dejounte Murray -- within Snyder's faster-paced system.
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Ultimately, this plan to shoot more 3s can go either way for Young. If he takes mostly good ones, he can get closer to the 38% he shot in '21-22, his last All-Star season, and the Hawks will be very tough to defend if the pace and movement pick up, which it should under Snyder.
But if Young gets stuck on firing away and compromises quality, this can go badly, too. Young is not Stephen Curry, who could theoretically up the volume on his 3s every season and never compromise efficiency. Young, as the statistics will back up, is not that kind of shooter. He's impactful to a degree regardless of how he's shooting because defenses stretch to defend him, but that only goes so far.
To attempt more 3s, in today's game, for a talented shooter, sounds good. But missing a bunch of 3s sounds equally bad. Can Young find the sweet spot? We'll see.