Why Trae Young could be the second star Dallas Mavericks acquire next to Luka Doncic
Trae Young’s defensive concerns are overblown after Mavericks success with Jalen Brunson
Young is one of the best offensive initiators in the NBA, but his defense rates as one of the worst. He ranks 233rd of 250 qualified players in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR this season.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has preached defense since taking over, but Young is just ahead of Spencer Dinwiddie, who ranks 236th in the metric this season. Last season, Ice Trae was 245th of 250 qualified players with Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson finishing tied for 149th. Dallas reached the conference finals with two below-average defenders in the backcourt next to Luka Doncic, so why would Young’s defense sink their ship?
The 6’1 point guard’s defense becomes more problematic in the playoffs when teams hunt switches and target players, but that could be to the Mavericks' advantage. Teams targeted Luka over the last three years in an effort to wear him down. They would have to pick their poison with Young on the roster, and the fresh player would be feasting on the offensive end of the floor.
The Dallas Mavericks would have to improve their defensive options around Luka Doncic and Trae Young, but the duo could make things work. Their offense would be unstoppable, so they would just need to be an above-average defense to become serious title contenders.