CHICAGO — Trae Young believes he’s not just the best scorer in the NBA draft this year, he’s the best player.
Asked Friday whether he felt he was the best scorer in this year’s class of potential picks, the Oklahoma guard felt he needed to add a little more to the description.
“I think I’m the best overall player in this draft,” Young said. “My main focus isn’t necessarily to be the best player in this draft. My focus is to be the best player in the NBA. That’s what I’m focusing on each and every day.”
“I love the comparisons,” Young said. “He’s a two-time MVP and a champion. I love the comparison, but I feel like I bring a lot of different things from different players, different players’ games to the table. I’m just trying to be the best version of Trae Young. That’s all that matters to me. I’m just getting started in this thing. Hopefully I can achieve some of those things.”
Young said he is hopeful he can show teams that he can play defense, which remains, for league executives, one of the biggest question marks about his game.
“I’m excited about having the opportunity to show people that I can play defense.” Young said. “I’m actually super excited to show that from day one.”
Young, who says he has gained 10 pounds of muscle over the past five weeks while training, is expected to go somewhere in the top 10 of next month’s draft. He is trying not to worry about the order of various mock drafts.
“My main focus is going to the right team,” he said. “It’s not about being one, two, three or 30. You see a lot of guys who are in the second round, who go second round in certain years, and make big impacts on teams. It’s all about the fit for me — whether that’s one, whatever that is, I’m going to be happy and I’m going to be ready to make an impact. And that’s what [teams] are going to get.”
“Obviously he said some good things about me this year,” Young said of James. “LeBron is someone who has changed the game and a big role model as far as on and off the court — the way he handles himself in every situation is something I really like about LeBron.”