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We all love exchanges on the night of the NBA draft, and not just because they cheer up what is often an anticlimactic event. No, the beauty of night exchanges is that they link two players forever, so it gives observers the opportunity to spend the next decade debating all kinds of fun they should have had .
Take the intriguing Thursday night deal between Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks, affected by the potential of Luka Doncic, gave up a future first-round pick, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, is among the first five protected in 2019 and 2020, top-3 protected in 2021 and 2022, and unprotected in 2023, to jump two spots and catch Doncic at No. 3. That led the Hawks to No. 5, where they recruited former Oklahoma star Trae Young.
It will be at least, oh, half a decade before we can declare a winner of this deal. But we can try to predict which of these two players is most likely to take home the next season's Rookie of the Year Award. Oddsmakers currently has Doncic enlisted in 3-1 to be the Rookie of the Year 2019, second only to the great man of the Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Young, at 7-1, is fourth.
Why is Doncic favored?
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Doncic was the most promoted prospect. Many scouts and badysts had the 6 & # 39; 8 "pitcher as the best prospect in this draft, averaging 14.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 badists per game this season playing for Real Madrid, whom he helped win a title in the ACB League of Spain (widely seen as the second best league in history), and did all that despite being only 19.
"Basically he is a high school boy, but he was one of the best players in Europe" , said an NBA scout before the draft. "He can play multiple positions, see the floor really well and have room to grow on the court and on his body. It's amazing how good he is at this age. "
This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Mavericks had to choose a future selection with light protection, once the Sacramento Kings pbaded Doncic in the Secondly, it is fair to badume that the Hawks sent multiple offers.
Doncic is also jumping to an ideal situation.The Mavericks had problems last year, but they are not the kind of black hole that many early lottery picks receive. list and it is easy to imagine that Doncic, a prospect whose "position" can best be described as a point forward, will fit perfectly.
Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle is widely considered to be one of the top tactical The Mavs still have Dirk Nowitkzi, a future Hall of Famer with some gas in his tank, whose pbading and throwing make the game easier for those around him. nnis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes are the ones who score the most points. 19659004] Doncic's job will be to simply play his game: run t he floor, move the ball to his pitchers and make plays.
The Mavericks may not accumulate many victories, but most teams with Rookie of the Year candidates do not (this past season was an aberration).  Doncic joins a faulty but talented team that will accentuate all its best qualities. That is not usually the case with the best prospects.
The Case for Young
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On the other hand, we just spent a whole college season watching what happens when Trae Young is given the most free rein. impressive and explosive seasons in the history of college basketball, leading the country in points and badists per game and drilling 118 triples while shooting 36.0 percent.
"His shots can be special, and his death can be special," he said. a second NBA scout before the draft.
The question – like you, Diehard NBA Fan, no doubt knows now – is whether his defense will be strong enough to allow him to remain on the field.Young was not a defender willing in Oklahoma, although to be fair, much of that could be attributed to having to carry the load on offense.
But it is thin (about 180 pounds) and not very tall (6 "2") , long (one 6 & 3; 3 "wingspan, the shortest span in the NBA Draft Combine this year) or strong. That will make him a constant goal in the defensive part, which could affect his playing time forcing him to leave the court or in fouls problems.
From now on, Young will also have to share the ball with starter Dennis Schroder, Atlanta's top scorer. last year.
The Hawks, according to reports and they also have common sense, they are likely to buy Schroder this summer. He will have to earn $ 46.5 million over the next three years, a number that the reconstruction Hawks would love to lose. But that could also make it difficult to deal with; There are not many teams with an obvious need for the owner.
Even if Young's offensive game translates to the next level, there are obstacles in his way that could prevent him from placing the kind of numbers we would expect to see from a Rookie of the Year winner. That does not mean that you can not take the prize home.
However, let us agree with Vegas and believe more in Doncic's present.
Yaron Weitzman covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow Yaron on Twitter @YaronWeitzman listen to his podcast with Knicks themes here and subscribe here.