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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Reporter hints at 1 potential reason for Trae Young’s Team USA snub

Trae Young in his Hawks uniform

Dec 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA will head to the FIBA World Cup this summer without Trae Young, which is a bit surprising to some observers. A new report suggests, however, that there may be some underlying reasons that Young did not receive an invitation.

Young’s Team USA omission was a topic of discussion on ESPN’s “The Hoop Collective” podcast, with the Atlanta Hawks guard’s lack of size named as a factor. FIBA competition is a bit more physical than the NBA, and there were apparently some questions about Young’s willingness to deal with that side of things from his time with the Select Team in 2019.

“I heard Trae Young did not make a great case for himself during his previous time in the Team USA program,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said (roughly 35:25). “I also heard, at one point, a question was presented to Trae Young, something along the lines of ‘Are you ever going to go over a bleeping screen?'”

Young has been open about his interest in playing for Team USA, but he might not fit what they are looking for. If it is seriously a goal of his, he may simply have to adapt to that sort of physical play.

The 24-year-old guard averaged 26.2 points and 10.2 assists per game for the Hawks last season. Nobody doubts his scoring ability, but a ball-dominant guard might not fit in with how the team is supposed to operate.


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