Atlanta Hawks second-year forward/center John Collins and rookie guard Trae Young were selected as participants in the 2019 MTN DEW ICE NBA Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. ET, it was announced today.
Collins, the No. 19 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, leads all sophomores in double-doubles (19) and has two separate six-game double-double streaks this season. The Wake Forest product is averaging 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds this season, making him one of just eight players posting at least 19.5 points and 10.0 boards in 2018-19. The big man is shooting .595 from the field this season, 7th in the NBA and the second-best mark of all-time among second-year players to average at least 19 points and 10 rebounds per contest (Shaquille O’Neal – .599 in 1993-94).
Collins posted 11 double-doubles in 12 December contests, averaging 21.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. He became the second Hawks player ever to average at least 21.0 points and 12.5 rebounds in a month (Kevin Willis twice) and the first Atlanta player with a 20-point/10-rebound month since Paul Millsap in December 2013.
On 1/23 at Chicago, Collins tallied a career-high 35 points (career-best 14 FGM, career-high-tying four 3FGM, 3-3 FTs) in 29 minutes. He became the third player since 1979-80 to record at least 35 points, 14 FGM, eight rebounds and four three-pointers in less than 30 minutes, joining Larry Bird in 1986 and Stephen Curry in 2017.
Young has started each of Atlanta’s 49 games this season and leads all first-year players in assists per game (7.3) – good for 7th in the NBA – and sits atop the Eastern Conference rookie leaderboard in points per game (16.4), steals per game (0.88), double-doubles (14), 30-point games (two) and free throws made (167) this season. The University of Oklahoma product was named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November after a three-game stretch with at least 10 points and 10 assists in each contest to open the month.
Young’s current averages of 16.4 points and 7.3 assists per game would place him alongside Chris Paul (2005-06) and John Wall (2010-11) as the only rookies to post at least 16.0 points and 7.0 assists in a season since 1997-98. The No. 5 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Young lays claim to 14-of-the-20 contests rookies have posted with at least 10 assists this season, including six-of-the-10 games in which a first-year player has recorded at least 20 points and 10 assists.
Through 13 contests in January, Young is averaging 18.4 points, 7.2 assists and 1.0 steals per game. From Jan. 26-28, Young became the first NBA rookie to record two consecutive contests with at least 26 points, 10 field goals made and eight assists since Stephen Curry in 2010, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
In his third professional game, the University of Oklahoma product scored 35 points and dished out 11 assists in a 133-111 win at Cleveland on Oct. 21. The effort made Young the first player to record a 35-point/11-assist game within the first 10 contests of his career and paired him with Stephen Curry (2/10/10) as the only rookies ever with 35 points, 11 assists and six 3FGM in a single game.
Collins and Young will become the second pair of Hawks teammates to participate in the annual showdown in two years, as Collins teamed with Taurean Prince in last season’s contest.