Virtually every NBA Draft expert projected Oklahoma’s Trae Young to be a top-10 pick in the 2018 draft. Very few, however, had him going as high as No. 5.
At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, Young became the sixth Sooner basketball player to be selected among the first five draft picks in the NBA’s annual talent fair.
Young ended up as the first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks by way of a trade with the Dallas Mavericks, who selected the former OU star and then moved him to Atlanta in exchange for the Hawks’ No. 3 overall pick, Luka Doncic of Slovenia, and a 2019 first-round pick.
A 6-foot, 2-inch point guard, Young has been touted as the player with the highest upside to become an NBA All-Star of the top-10 draft picks, but also the player with the most risk to become an NBA bust. That’s a wide pendulum swing when you have the opportunity to secure the fifth-best player in the draft.
A five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American out of high school, just a little over a year ago, Young was the lowest rated of the five-star prospects when he chose Oklahoma over a long list of scholarship offers from practically every major college program in the country.
All he did his freshman season at OU is lead the nation in scoring (27.4 points per game) and assists (8.7 per game) and break Oklahoma’s freshman scoring record, held previously by the late, great Wayman Tisdale.
Young has proven the experts wrong before, and now he is out to do it again as he moves on to the NBA. He wants to do in the NBA what he accomplished at OU: He wants to be the first player to lead the NBA in both scoring and assists.
Here are some other numbers to know about Trae Young, Oklahoma basketball and the NBA Draft:
3 – Number of NBA lottery picks (1-14 in the opening round) in the last 10 years who played basketball at Oklahoma, second most in the Big 12 (to Kansas).
3 – Over the last three NBA Drafts, Oklahoma has as many top-10 draft picks as the rest of the Big 12 combined.
4 – Oklahoma is the fourth school since 1970 to produce top-10 draft picks in all three major drafts (MLB, NFL and NBA) in the same season. Auburn, Texas and Stanford are the others.
7 – Oklahoma basketball has produced seven NBA lottery picks in the history of the draft.
10 – Oklahoma has had a top-10 draft pick this year in the NFL. MLB and NBA drafts.
10 – Trae Young is Oklahoma’s 10th first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
11 – Trae Young is Oklahoma’s 11th consensus First Team All-America selection in basketball.
49 – The number of OU players all-time who have been selected in the NBA.
*Information provided by the University of Oklahoma Athletic Department.