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Start/Bench/Cut: Young Franchise Cornerstone Edition

Oh ESPN wants to get in on the start/bench/cut game? Fine I'll play. I won't run and hide from an exercise like this like so many others in my position may do. I think I've made it fairly clear that if you throw one of these NBA Twitter quarantine debates at me then I'm going to do it every single time. I need to pass the time until basketball returns somehow. I'm happy to report that I once again nailed the final order, but before I unveil it you know the drill. Let's look at each player's 2019-20 season individually because quite frankly all three were utterly ridiculous.

Trae Young

2019-20 stats: 29.6 points / 4.3 rebounds / 9.3 assists / 1.1 steals / 43% FG% / 36% 3P% with 3.4 3PM / 114 Ortg / 117 Drtg

So I think it's safe to say that anyone who thought Trae Young was too small to succeed in the NBA or that his style in college wouldn't translate to the NBA feels pretty silly. I mean the man is an offensive monster. He's the closest thing we have to Steph Curry offensively only he's a way better passer. Now maybe you're someone who thinks he only puts up these numbers because he's the only option in ATL and shoots too much, but did you know his 20.8 FGA is only 0.2 more than Luka and 1.9 FGA more than Tatum? That's not all that outrageous yet he's basically putting up 30/9 a night. He's 4th in the NBA in scoring, 2nd in assists and made an All Star team. I'd say that's pretty good all things considered. The problem is his team stinks and defensively he is a goddamn disaster. May as well not even exist on that end of the floor. That's unfortunate.

Jayson Tatum

2019-20 stats: 23.6 points / 7.1 rebounds / 2.9 assists / 1.4 steals / 44% FG% / 39% 3P% with 2.8 3PM / 110 Ortg / 105 Drtg

I think my feelings on Jayson Tatum are pretty well known. You may know believe this, but I'm a fan. Of the three players listed, he's easily the best two way player. He actually defends which is important. Tatum also owns the best 3P% (with 2 fewer attempts a night), and has proven to be one of the better players in the league in clutch situations/4th quarters. Did you know he shoots 54/39% in clutch situations? In fourth quarters he's putting up 49.8/46.9%. Not bad I suppose. The one thing he severely lacks though compared to the other two is the playmaking. He is lightyears behind both Luka and Trae and probably always will be. He's not that type of player yet. But he has shown the ability to go toe to toe with the best in the league in the biggest moments, and that's important. 

Luka Doncic

2019-20 stats: 28.7 points / 9.3 rebounds / 8.7 assists / 1.1 steals / 46% FG% / 31% 3P% with 2.9 3PM / 116 Ortg / 108 Drtg

If we're being honest, I'm not totaly sure Luka is a real person. I say that because at 20 years old not only is he the youngest of the three, but he's doing shit that only Oscar Robertson was able to do in the NBA at this age. LeBron didn't do it, Kobe didn't do it, think of whatever name you want that's a legend in the game, they were not going what Luka and Oscar were doing at age 20. A walking 30/9/9 at this point in his career doesn't make any goddamn sense. It took him just 126 games to set the Mavs all time record in triple doubles. I don't think it's a stretch to say at the moment Luka has the most talent, but like Trae Young he has his issues on the defensive end. Doesn't exactly dominate on that end like he does the offensive end. At the same time, the Mavs were one of the biggest surprises this year and own the #1 offense in the NBA. Luka is why.

Alright so now it's time to make the final order. As you can see all three bring certain things to the table which may impact how you net out. For me, this is my order

Start: Luka Doncic

Bench: Jayson Tatum

Cut: Trae Young

First and foremost, credit to me once again for being unbiased. I just call it like I see it, and seeing as how Luka is going to make 1st Team All NBA and is doing something that only one other person has been able to accomplish in NBA history, he's an easy start. I advise other Celts fans to not be so insecure. It's OK to say Luka is special. Now, because I'm starting Luka I have my scoring/playmaking/rebounding covered, but I need defense. That's why I'm keeping Tatum. We have good size with him and Luka, Tatum can play off ball, and he's the best defender of the three. Add to it his ability to step up when it matters most, I want that.

Which means I have to cut Trae. It's not his fault, that's just how the cookie crumbles. I don't lose that much in terms of outside shooting or playmaking and he's by far the worst defender of all three. Awesome to watch for sure, he's basically as close to must watch as you're going to get from the point guard spot, but it doesn't make sense to keep him over any of the other two.

So that's where I net out. Do you agree? If not, what's your order.