Golden State Warriors: Comparisons to Stephen Curry a futile excercise

As the undisputed greatest shooter in NBA history, Golden State Warriors’ superstar Stephen Curry is the obvious comparison for any young player that enters the league with the same remnants of ball-handling wizardry and deep shooting threat.

That was exactly the case for Atlanta Hawks’ guard Trae Young who drew comparisons to Curry even before he was drafted fifth overall in 2018. It was a heavy weight to place on the now 24-year-old, and not one overly fair to either he or the Warrior veteran.

Comparing Trae Young, or any player for that matter, to Golden State Warriors’ two-time MVP Stephen Curry, is a futile and unfair exercise.

As a two-time All-Star in his opening four seasons, Young has proven his value as a franchise level player. The comparisons between he and Curry remain, and were again suggested by veteran Philadelphia 76ers guard Patrick Beverley recently on his podcast.

While advocating that Young should have been in Team USA’s FIBA World Cup squad over practically any player currently in the squad, Beverley made a bold statement about the young Hawks’ leader.

“He’s won plenty of games. He’s hit plenty of daggers. He’s reinventing the game. Whatever Stephen Curry is leaving over he’s taking it and running with it”, Beverley said.

The idea that Young is ‘reinventing the game’ is a suggestion Beverley may need to provide further clarity on. On the surface, it’s hard to find an area that Young is forging into that Curry hasn’t already over his 14-year career.

Young may match Curry’s ability to pull up from well beyond the arc, but the actual three-point numbers are a mismatch unworthy of contrast. In terms of volume, Young’s current three-point rate would see him reach Curry’s current mark late in a 19th NBA season — that’s not even accounting for the hundreds of triples the 2022 Finals MVP will tally over the next five years or so.

While the sheer volume is one thing, the percentages only add to the disparity. Young shoots just 35.1% from beyond the arc over his career, and less than 30% during his 27 playoff games. Curry, on the other hand, shoots 42.8% and 39.7% during his extensive postseason appearances.

Perhaps one day someone will enter the league and surpass Curry’s near-unbreakable three-point record. But even if that were to occur, they’re unlikely to leave the same indelible mark as someone who changed the game forever.

It’s nothing against Young or anyone who draws Curry comparisons, but making those sort of claims are almost disparaging towards all-time greats. Young is forging his own path, and adding Curry-like expectations is a brutal measure in which to fill.