Phoenix Suns scouting: Trae Young – the Suns’ main target?

MANHATTAN, KS - JANUARY 16: Head coach Lon Kruger (R) of the Oklahoma Sooners instructs Trae Young
MANHATTAN, KS - JANUARY 16: Head coach Lon Kruger (R) of the Oklahoma Sooners instructs Trae Young /

It’s no secret: Trae Young is college basketball’s most hyped player.

ESPN has been hyping him up. NBA scouts have been hyping him up. Fans have been hyping him up.

Let’s find out why.


Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Trae Young did not have to move far from home to attend the University of Oklahoma. Young was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, but was largely overshadowed by DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter Jr., Trevon Duval, Collin Sexton, and Mohamed Bamba.

Still, out of all of those players, you could argue that it has been Young who has had the smoothest transition to the college game.


When you watch Trae Young play one thing stands out: his playmaking ability.

Sure, Young can shoot the ball better than anybody in the college game; yes, he can throw perfect full-court passes; and, of course, he can beat his man to the rim on-one-on with a great first step. But all of that, and much more, fits under the playmaking umbrella.

If we were to make a list of his strengths, it would look something like this:

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

  • Shooting: Young is one of the most talented shooters in the world, regardless of playing level.
  • Passing: His ability to make difficult passes is a big part of what makes Trae Young such a valued player.
  • Vision: Trae Young has full court, 360 degree vision.
  • First step: With a long first step, Young can get to the rim against basically any defender.
  • Change of pace: He also utilizes a change of pace/hesitation dribble to beat his defender.
  • Handle: If you watch enough Trae Young, you are guaranteed to see him devastate a defender with a great dribble combination.
  • Pick-and-roll: Young will drain a three in your eyes if you go under the screen, he will beat you to the rim if you go over the screen and if you somehow manage to contain, Young will throw a perfect skip pass to the opposite wing, creating a wide open three.
  • Transition: Trae Young is very adept at using his speed and quickness to create baskets in transition.


While his strengths outnumber his weaknesses, Trae Young does have a few glaring holes in his game. First is his defense. Young is not a particularly big, athletic player, so no one is expecting him to be a defensive stopper. He too displays a real lack of defensive effort at times.

The next thing Trae Young needs to improve is his decision-making. He has done a much better job of late, but early on this season, Young would throw up way too many terrible shots. His shot selection is definitely something that NBA teams will want him to address before drafting him.

Finally, the last major thing Young needs to improve on is his finishing. With his great first step and clever hesitation dribble, Trae Young can get to the hoop at will. Finishing at the hope is another issue entirely; getting some reps in before the NBA Draft should help clean up this part of his game.

Next: Should DeAndre Ayton be the Suns' number one draft target?

Why would the Suns want Trae Young?

Just watch the Trae Young play. He has all of the tools necessary to be an absolute superstar in the NBA. A few years from now a Trae Young and Devin Booker backcourt could legitimately be one of the best that the league has ever seen.