It was quite the shock when the final 44-player USA Men’s Basketball roster was named without Trae Young among the final 44. After hearing of the news, Trae Young said he was ‘hurt’ by today’s news.
With the Toyko 2020 looming this summer, the USA Men’s Basketball team is beginning to shape their roster for the Summer Games. Jerry Colangelo and Greg Popovich, with the assistance of Hawks Coach Lloyd Pierce, are trimmed their roster to 44 in preparation of trimming further down to 12 when the Men’s Basketball team takes the floor in Toyko. Today’s list of 44 players was filled with familiar names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry. Also some newcomers such as Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, and Jaylen Brown. However, Hawks superstar, Trae Young’s name was nowhere to be found.
Immediately after the list of 44-players was dropped and analyzed, the omissions were pointed out. One of the biggest omissions was Trae Young. Along with Trae, other notable omissions were Ja Morant and Zion Williamson, two guys who are in the middle of their rookie seasons. Trae is in his second season. The entire list of 44 guys doesn’t include any rookies or second-year players. It seems Colangelo and Pop want to keep the younger guys off to make room for some of the veteran guys who could be playing in their last Olympics.
Whatever the rationale of leaving Trae Young off, there is no denying he’s proven he belongs among this collection of NBA guys. While it’s possible Trae wouldn’t have made the cut, regardless of what he’s done, it’s safe to say he’s earned his place among the 44 named today. Names like DeMar DeRozan, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Mike Conley, or Kyle Lowry are all spots Trae could slot in just as well, if not better than some of the names listed today. Ignoring the guard position, other names include Javle McGee, Dwight Howard, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Montrezl Harrell. Nothing against any of the names I’ve listed, but Trae Young belongs on this roster.
It’s been an uphill battle for Trae Young ever since he joined the NBA. It feels like Trae will push the rock up the hill to only have it roll back down when fans or pundits want to move the goalposts. This slight isn’t as important or notable as others, but this is just another hurdle for Trae to work through. Yes, Trae will represent the USA Men’s Basketball team one day. There is no doubt about that. However, his play in these first two seasons should give Trae the opportunity to wear the USA across his chest this year.