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Today we take a look at another player the Celtics should consider with their second pick, number 17 overall, in Thursday’s NBA Draft. For other candidates, read up on Kyle Anderson, Jusuf Nurkić and T. J. Warren.
Name: James Young
Position: Shooting Guard
Stats: 6’6″, 215 lbs.
Young played in the state of Michigan for his entire high school career; he first played two years at Troy High School, and his last two at Rochester. Young’s numbers at both schools were very similar: at Troy he averaged 25.1 points, 16 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, and at Rochester he recorded 27.2 ppg, 16 rpg, and 5.7 apg. Young was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, and was rated #8 on the ESPN 100 list last year.
He played only one season of college ball at Kentucky, but it was a productive one. Young helped lead the youthful Wildcats on their surprising run to the NCAA Championship game, where they lost to Connecticut 60-54 despite Young’s 20 points. As a freshman, he averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 boards, and 1.7 assists.
Young can flat out score the basketball; he has a smooth stroke from the outside, and will make an immediate impact for his team with his outside shooting. Young can make shots coming off picks and off the dribble, and is also capable of creating off the dribble. Young has a knack for finishing in the paint, as he has great body control, and can finish through contact. He does have to become a more consistent jump shooter from the outside - despite having great form, his shot selection was often questionable at Kentucky, which resulted in a three-point percentage of just 34.9.
Young has to learn that he can use his right hand to dribble, and not only to finish in the paint, and he must refine his passing skills, as he only averaged 1.7 assists per game last season. The Celtics need to improve at shooting guard, and Young could help them do just that. The C’s have question marks at the position because of their upcoming free agency situation – the future of Jerryd Bayless and Avery Bradley is still unknown.
Young is projected to go anywhere between picks 14 and 24 in the first round. The C’s at 17 will likely have the chance to draft him, and he would be a great fit in green. Young is comparable to former Houston Rocket Cuttino Mobley, who averaged 16.0 ppg in his 12-year NBA career.