Trae Young might lack size and strength, but one thing he certainly doesn’t lack is confidence. Young will shoot from anywhere on the court if you give him an inch of space. He probably made more shots from the halfcourt logo than anyone in the league this year, and that includes Steph Curry.
Young was asked about Curry on Shaq’s podcast, “The Big Podcast with Shaq” the other day, and he didn’t mince words. Shaq asked Young when he would be able to overtake Curry as the best shooter in the NBA, and Young replied with a simple answer — one year.
Trae Young is confident he can be the best shooter in the NBA
Trae Young is only 21 years old. He has only played in 141 NBA games in two seasons. Steph Curry has played in almost as many playoff games, 110, as Young has total games in the league, but Young believes he’s already close to Curry’s level.
On “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” Young said he will overtake Curry as the NBA’s best shooter in one year. Shaq pressed him on the question quite a bit, but Young still answered candidly. “I’m just being honest. I work too hard,” Young said.
Young did say earlier in the show that Curry has done crazy things and put up crazy numbers, but that’s exactly what he strives to do in the NBA. In fact, he’s already doing it.
In just his second year in the league, Young is averaging 29.6 points per game. Curry only had one season in which he averaged more, his MVP season in 2015-16.
How close is Young to catching Curry as the NBA’s best shooter?
Trae Young might believe he’s close to catching Steph Curry as an elite shooter, but the numbers might say otherwise. Curry is one of the all-time great shooters in NBA history. When it’s all said and done, he will be regarded as the undisputed best shooter ever.
Over his 11-year career, Curry is shooting 43.5 percent from deep. He has made a total of 2,495 threes in the NBA, which is already the third-most in league history. Curry only needs 478 more to catch Ray Allen for the most all-time. That should take him less than two full seasons at his current pace.
Obviously Young isn’t even close to Curry in terms of career shooting accomplishments. After all, he’s 11 years younger than the Warriors’ superstar. However, we can compare the two’s shooting percentages through their first two seasons.
Through his first 141 games, Curry shot 43.5 percent from three. Young, however, has not been as efficient. He’s shooting 34.4 percent from deep through 141 games.
Young is actually on pace to pass Curry in career 3-pointers
Although Young has shot a worse percentage than Curry through two seasons, he’s actually ahead of him in career 3-pointers to this point. Curry made 288 in his first 141 games, but Young has made 361.
How is that possible you ask? Well, Young is a volume shooter the NBA hasn’t seen before. He chucked up 9.5 threes per game this season. Curry didn’t shoot more than five per game in his first two seasons. He shot a total of 662 threes in the same number of games it took Young to fire up 1,050.
Despite shooting almost 400 more threes than Curry to this point in his career, Young has only made 73 more. He might be on pace to pass Curry in career threes, but Young is going to have to make a much higher percentage of his jumpers to be considered on Curry’s level.
Only time will tell if Young can dethrone Curry as the new 3-point king. He said it will happen in just a year, but that’s an extremely optimistic timeline. He probably will never catch Curry, and especially not next year.