Trae Young has been voted the most overrated player in the NBA, according to an anonymous poll of 54 NBA players conducted by Sam Amick and Josh Robbins on The Athletic. Young received 14.8% of the vote, technically leaving him behind the “other” category, which received 31.5% of votes spread across 17 players. Young received eight total votes, while no other player received more than four.
Young rose to prominence when he led the Atlanta Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, but things have gone downhill ever since. The Hawks have been relegated to the play-in tournament in each of the past two seasons, and though they’ve made it through into the playoffs both times, Young’s individual performance has been poor. He is averaging 15.5 points per game on 31% shooting from the field in the last two postseasons, and he has made just eight of his 49 3-point attempts in his past seven playoff games.
The Hawks have undergone significant turmoil this season. The team moved on from both general manager Travis Schlenk and head coach Nate McMillan in recent months. Schlenk is the executive who drafted Young, and McMillan was the second head coach fired during Young’s career, following Lloyd Pierce. Now, Landry Fields has taken over as general manager while Quin Snyder is Atlanta’s new coach. Young has been involved in trade rumors since earlier this season, with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reporting that Atlanta’s front office has been given the green light to trade Young if doing so makes sense.
This is the second anonymous player poll conducted by The Athletic. Draymond Green and Russell Westbrook tied for the title of most overrated player in 2019, when the first poll was published, at 17% of the vote each. That same set of polls, The Athletic asked 125 players who they would choose to build a roster around from scratch. Two of them chose Young.
There is no firm measurement of how overrated a player is, but Young’s reputation seemed to be slipping well before this poll. He missed the All-Star Game this season after making it in two of the past three seasons, and he is unlikely to make his second All-NBA team when those are released later in the postseason. Individually, his numbers are in line with where they’ve typically fallen. Young averaged 26.2 points per game this season, above his career-average of 25.5, and he posted a career-high 10.2 assists per game in the process.
But expectations were high for the Hawks this season. They were expected to return to contention for the Eastern Conference crown after they spent several draft picks acquiring San Antonio Spurs All-Star Dejounte Murray. Instead, the Hawks played .500 basketball for most the season, and a midseason feud with McMillan led some to call Young a coach-killer. Young is one of the best offensive players in the NBA, but right now, his presence isn’t translating to consistent winning for Atlanta. Whether that means that he is overrated is debatable, but it’s hard to imagine the Hawks are satisfied with the season Young just had.