Oklahoma PG Trae Young had the national spotlight on him all of last season. He was one of the most electrifying players in the league as he launched 30-foot threes at whim and dished out double-digit assists.
It's the constant eyes on Young that makes his father, Ray, confident his son would thrive in a city with the brightest of spotlights in the NBA.
New York City, of course.
"That's what Trae lives for. He lives for that type of stuff. Just think about it: He's probably the most talked about, most publicized kid in this draft and he's been through it all," Ray Young told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy. Trae's been scrutinized to the point that he has thick skin. None of that stuff is going to bother him. He was like the darling of college basketball for three months, and then the last month-and-a-half he turned into a bad guy, for some reason.
"So for him to be in a market like New York and understand that it's all about winning -- and if you don't win, there'll be some scrutiny -- he's already been through it."
The Knicks have been connected to Young with their No. 9 slot in the 2018 NBA Draft that begins on June 21 in Chicago. Ray says the team will be hosting the 19-year-old on Friday as well.
However, the Knicks are backed up with three points guards on the roster at the moment. Last year's first-rounder, Frank Ntilikina, was 19 when the Knicks decided to take a chance on his potential as a 6-foot-6 defensive-minded player. Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay, both young guards with potential, are also in the mix.
New head coach David Fizdale doesn't refer to those three as specifically point guards, though. Instead, they're just guards which shows that he may use them at a position other than the floor general.
"It would only make sense if you feel that guard is far and away better than what you have on the roster," GM Scott Perry said. "And we haven't been able to make that determination yet."
But Ray says his son is more than just a point guard. He can virtually do it all.
"I think it really gets overlooked that he led the country in points and assists," Ray said. "Not only did he do that as a college player, but he did that as a freshman. I just don't see people talking about that and the one thing people don't realize about Trae is he loves to pass the ball. He's only just been able to score because he can shoot and his goal is to lead the NBA in assists."
Like many Knicks fans, Ray also loves the Fizdale hire. Fizdale is known as a player's coach, and having worked with one of the league's best point guards in Mike Conley, he would love his son to work underneath him.
"With Mike, he kind of let him run the show," Ray said. "Of course, Mike's a veteran, he's been around for a long time, so it's a little bit different for him. But I know a lot about coach Fizdale. I think the biggest thing with him is players love him, he's a player's coach."
Though Young has generated Stephen Curry comparisons for his quick jumper with infinite range. Curry grew to stardom during the 2008 NCAA Tournament during his college career. He then used that patented three-point shot to rise to NBA fame, and has become one of the most recognized players in the sport.
Young's spotlight started earlier than Curry, though. Curry also came out of Davidson his junior season. So, could Young live up to the hype?Ray believes New York is the place to do it.
"That would be something special to be in that market," Ray said. "And I'll tell you, the way he plays - as much scrutiny as he took, he sold out arenas all over the country. People wanted to watch him an hour before the game just warm up and shoot. And I'm not necessarily big on the Steph Curry comparisons but it is what it is - especially with the following and how people look at my son."
Young led the NCAA in points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game, while shooting 42 percent from the field last season.