Trae Young's defense will always be a concern
Trae Young is a perfect fit for the Rockets on offense. He is the missing ingredient to a potentially devastating attack. However, that’s only half of the game, and for as great as Young is on offense, he is equally as bad on defense.
There is no such thing as a perfect fit on defense next to Trae Young. He is one of the worst defenders in the NBA, and that’s not going to change. Any team that employs Young has to take the good with the bad. The Rockets drafting of Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason does give them the hypothetical wing defenders to help compensate, but building a top-ten defense around him will always be a struggle.
The Rockets are one of the best fits for Trae Young in the NBA. Their young core compliments his talents, their organization and coach have shown an affinity for a heliocentric offense, and they actually have the assets to land him. The question is if Young is worth going all in for. He is instant elite offense but is defensively limited in a way that forces an organization to make tough decisions.
Why I wouldn't trade for Trae Young
Personally, I would never want to be in the Trae Young business. No player is perfect, and even the best players have warts, but Young’s deficiencies on defense force significant compromise. The Rockets would be substantially better with Young guiding their offense, but I have sense that he limits a team’s ceiling.
Rival executives believe Young may ask for a trade out of Atlanta if the Hawks fail to show progress in the postseason. But what if Young is the problem? The Hawks have consistently remade their roster to try and mask Young’s deficiencies and build around his strengths. He is a great player, but to build a great team with him at the helm, a very particular roster needs to be assembled, and sometimes the right pieces just aren’t available.
The Rockets might be the perfect landing spot for Trae Young, but is Trae Young perfect for the Rockets? Or any team, for that matter? There’s no denying his talent, but there’s also no denying his flaws. If Trae Young is the next superstar to ask out, the Rockets would make all the sense in the world as a destination. I’m just not certain he can lead the Rockets to the destination they want to go.