Trae Young is not trying to be the next Stephen Curry

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 07: Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) drives the baseline in the first half of a first round matchup in the Big 12 Basketball Championship between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys on March 7, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 07: Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) drives the baseline in the first half of a first round matchup in the Big 12 Basketball Championship between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys on March 7, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The comparisons between Trae Young and Stephen Curry were easy as Young tallied massive scoring totals. He isn’t looking to be the next anything.

It did not take long for fans around the NBA to hone in on Trae Young. It did not take long for the basketball world to hone in on him.

Watching him play in college was mesmerizing throughout the season. It was easy to dream what he could become as he put up gaudy scoring numbers and made even respectable teams look foolish. The Big 12 had to throw the kitchen sink at him just to try to slow him down in some form or fashion.

As NBA teams started to fall by the wayside in their Playoff races, Young quickly became a focus for the Draft. and it might have had something to do with his seeming over-coverage on ESPN.

Still, there was undeniable magnetism about his play. It is hard to take your eyes off someone with a 37.1 percent usage rate and scoring 27.4 points per game.

His willingness to shoot and make from long range and draw in defenses as he drove in was reminiscent of Stephen Curry. Nothing has come close to that in the NBA Draft so far.

Young might be the first player to grow up in the Curry age. It was easy to draw a line between the two. The two-time MVPs influence would inevitably trickle down to the kids coming into the league.

Young — with his range and 10.3 3-point attempts per game — felt like the first guy truly to have that influence. But Young wants to be known as something more than a Curry clone. His game, he hopes is much more dynamic than what people think Curry is.

"“I love the comparisons. He’s a two-time MVP and a champion,” Young said at the NBA Draft Combine. “But I feel like I bring a lot of different things from different things from different player’s games to the table. I’m just trying to be the best version of Trae Young. That’s all that matters to me. I’m just getting started with this thing. Hopefully, I can achieve those things.”"

Young definitely has big ambitions. He declared himself the best player in the draft. But that is the kind of confidence you would expect from a top pick. It may or may not be true — or a popular opinion — but every great player needs that kind of irrational self-confidence.

Young especially with some of the shots he is willing to take.

But there is a much larger dimension to his game.

In addition to his high scoring average, he also led the nation in assists with 8.7 per game. He is a strong passer and a gifted playmaker. That was always a part of Curry’s game that was underrated. But Young is a strong playmaker.

No one considered the Oklahoma Sooners a strong team outside of Young. When Young hit a midseason slump as teams double- and triple-teamed him to keep him from scoring. That led to a dramatic increase in his turnovers.

There was a lot of growing he had to do. But this was a big part of his game. With NBA spacing — and better teammates — perhaps this part of his game will become more prominent.

"“I think I bring a lot of things to the next level,” Young said. “I think I bring an immediate impact off the court as much as I do on the court. As far as my skill set, I can space out the defense and attack defenders in multiple ways, get my teammates involved. I think I can pretty much do it all for a team. I’m looking forward to whatever city I go to making a huge impact.”"

Trae Young said Steve Nash is actually his favorite player. Young said he saw more similarities with the two’s size and their approach to the game. He described himself as very cerebral in the same way Nash was, able to keep his dribble alive to find the right pass or quickly pull up a shot.

Comparing himself to another two-time MVP is another high bar to clear. If Young can have the passing and shooting ability, the ability to control a game and manage the pace like Nash, that would be something.

The common thread is both Nash and Curry are two point guards who define the modern NBA. Guards who can probe into the lane and warp the defense with their constant ability to shoot.

But the Young and Curry comparisons will not go away considering Young’s penchant for shooting 3-pointers, certainly much more than Nash.

Curry averaged more than 20 points per game in all three of his seasons with the Davidson Wildcats. He averaged 25.3 points per game and 3.7 assists per game for his career, topping off at 5.6 assists per game his junior year. He shot 41.2 percent from beyond the arc on 9.7 3-point attempts per game for his career.

Young in his first year at Oklahoma certainly produced more than Curry did. In a lot of ways. And he certainly played under more pressure and scrutiny than Curry. Like Young, Curry had a 38.3 percent usage rate his final year too.

Is this comparison direct or fair? Probably not. Young should not have the pressure of living up to an MVP player.

Yet, that is what teams and fans will expect from him no matter who drafts him. To reach his potential and be considered a “success,” Young will have to bring that defense-warping shooting ability that reminds everyone of these two great players.

He will have to change his team by his mere presence and threat.

"“There is teams in this draft where I think it’s just one piece away, two pieces away from being a team that’s in the Lottery this year and not next year and can make big impacts,” Young said. “There have been some teams that I’ve met with where I feel like if I am on that team, I can make a big impact on them.”"

Young remains confident. As he should be. He has big shoes to fill and expectations to meet. That might even extend to the marketing attention that is sure to follow him with his play style and game.

It should be encouraging that despite these lofty comparisons, Young still seems fairly grounded and working to be the best player he can be. He is not going out there trying to be the next Curry.

Undoubtedly though, Curry — and Nash — have had a clear influence on his game.

Next: Confidence remains high in Orlando Magic's architects

Matt Schoch of Locked On Pistons contributed to this report.