Trae Young and the 3-Point Contest
ATLANTA - Trae Young began his All-Star Weekend with a win in the Rising Stars game, and he will conclude it Sunday with his first All-Star appearance, but in between, he will try to win a Three-Point Contest trophy to bring back to Atlanta. When he takes the court tonight, Trae will be the first Hawk to participate in the event since Kyle Korver in 2015.
On the cusp of his debut, here are three stats to keep in mind with respect to Trae's three-point shooting.
1) Trae has made a lot of super-long threes.
The rules of the event have changed for this year's contest. In essence, the players will take two extra shots each round and have ten extra seconds to complete the round. Those extra shots, however, will be attempted from a distance of 29 feet, 9 inches.
As highlight reels and social media will attest, Trae is more than capable of making those super-long shots. The stats agree too. Last season, Trae led the NBA in shots of 30 or more feet, and this season, his 25 threes from that distance trails only Damian Lillard (43).
Anything can happen in a two-shot sample, but recent history tells us that Trae is as qualified as anyone to be taking shots from logo distance.
2) Trae has made threes at a breakneck pace.
Trae's NBA career to this point has consisted of 131 games. In those 131 games, Trae has made 329 threes.
No one – not Korver, not Ray Allen, not Damian Lillard, and not even Steph Curry – made a greater number of threes in the first 131 games of their career.
3) Trae has been marvelously accurate on catch-and-shoot threes this season.
The NBA tracks shot data in a number of ways, including by the number of dribbles taken before the shot. When Trae shoots threes on the catch after taking zero dribbles, he has been deadly accurate, making 47.6 percent of his attempts. The other competitors in the contest are quite remarkable in their own right, but Trae leads them all in accuracy on three-point attempts after zero dribbles.
Duncan Robinson 44.7 percent
Davis Bertans 43.1 percent
Joe Harris 43.0 percent
Zach LaVine 41.1 percent
Devonte' Graham 40.7 percent
Buddy Hield 39.4 percent
Devin Booker 38.2 percent
While it's not an exact match, the three-point contest mirrors the catch-and-shoot technique because shooters will be pulling the balls off the rack and shooting without a dribble. It will be interesting to see if that skill carries over tonight, and if it does, Trae will become the first-ever Hawk to win the event.