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NBA

Hawks' rookie Trae Young says he and Luka Doncic can become the next Magic and Bird: 'We both can be great'

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(NBA Getty Images)

Trae Young and Luka Doncic will seemingly be connected for their entire NBA careers after a draft day trade sent Young to Atlanta along with a 2019 first-round pick in return for Doncic.

MORE: Is Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young making a late case for the Rookie of the Year award?

While Doncic has set the pace for the Rookie of the Year award with a blistering freshman campaign for the Dallas Mavericks, Young is doing his best to make a late push, coming out of the All-Star break on a tear, posting three 30-point games as well as a career-high 49-point outburst against the Chicago Bulls over the weekend.

Both players have already established themselves as the cornerstones of their respective franchises and Young expects the pair to create a rivalry that will last years down the track.

"It can go down as a battle like guys like Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird," Young said on the latest episode of The Ringer's "Winging It" podcast. "They battled for years and they were always compared to each other. It could be something like that, where we both can be great."

Bird and Magic defined the 1980s era in the NBA after squaring off in the 1979 NCAA championship game. The pair combined to win eight NBA titles, making 13 Finals appearances and while reaching the heights of Bird and Magic will certainly be a tall order, the blueprint for fueling each others success is there for Young and Doncic.

This season Doncic is averaging 21.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, while Young is averaging 18.3 points, 7.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.

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