Trae Young says history will show he is superior to Luka Doncic. But the Hawks rookie contends the draft-day trade that sent him and a protected 2019 first-round pick from the Dallas Mavericks to Atlanta for Doncic has been a win-win for both teams.
"Obviously I hear everything that goes on. You can't miss it," Young said in an appearance on ESPN's The Jump that aired Monday. "Luka's having a really good year so far. And for me, all I do is try to focus on myself and my team. I know it's easy to say, but I'm really dedicated to working extremely hard every day for my teammates and things like that.
"And I think at the end of the day it worked out for both teams," he added. "That's how I look at it. I mean, Luka's doing really well. I feel like I'm doing really well as well."
Young is no stranger to the attention heaped on historic performances like those Doncic, at 19, has delivered for the Mavericks. As a freshman sensation at Oklahoma, Young became the first player to lead the NCAA in both scoring and assists.
Young has followed that up with a respectable rookie season featuring several standout performances such as Saturday's, during which he had 30 points and eight assists in a loss at Portland.
Doncic, meanwhile, became the first teenager in NBA history with a 30-point triple-double, recording 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on Sunday in a loss to the Toronto Raptors. The 35 points were a career high for Doncic, matching the 35 Young put up in his third game of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"In my eyes, it's not a question -- it's going to be me," Young said when asked who would be seen as the better player in five to 10 years. "But that's just the competitive nature in my blood, and I think that's the no-brainer with me."
Young told ESPN's Rachel Nichols and Byron Scott that over the summer he got to know Doncic well. They exchanged phone numbers and have continued to keep in touch, Young said.
"Checking up on each other and stuff," Young said. "He's a really good dude, for sure."