Trae Young
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young gives advice to New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett, who’s gearing up for his inaugural NBA season.

With the No. 3 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected the dynamic RJ Barrett out of Duke. The guard/forward will be looking to be the future of the team and lead them back to stardom, a place the organization hasn’t been to in a long while.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young was in this position last year. The Hawks selected Young with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma University. Therefore, Young has experience with the situation that Barrett is currently in.

Speaking at the NBPA/Five Star Camp at Basketball City on Wednesday, Young gave Barrett some advice.

“I mean, RJ’s handled a lot of attention, from high school to now, great. The way he’s performed, the way he’s put in work,” Young said, per Ian Begley of SNY. “For me, if I could give him any advice it’s just to remain who he is and focus on the important things: that’s playing basketball, that’s getting better every day. And enjoy everything else as far as letting everything else fall behind what you’re here for, which is playing basketball. If he’s playing well, if he’s working out, if he’s doing (those) things, everything else is going to take care of itself. It’s going to be a lot easier to handle.

“But when everything starts to drift off and other things start to come between basketball (being) the most important thing, then he’ll struggle. But with his circle and his godfather being Steve Nash and the people in his ear, I don’t think he’s going to have any hard times out here.”

Barrett averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in five Summer League games on 34% shooting. Him, along with second-round selection Ignas Brazdeikis will look to be vital aspects to the Knicks for years to come.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.