With the 17th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected James Young, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Kentucky. At only 18-years-old, he averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds at Kentucky, playing a large part on their run to the National Championship.
Here's my full scouting report of Young from my 2014 NBA Draft Guide:
What Others Are Saying
Brad Stevens said he had James Young in his top 11.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) June 27, 2014
This is an interesting pick and I think it certainly signals the beginning of a youth movement in Boston. James Young is an extremely raw 18-year-old, but he has very solid fundamentals as a jump shooter. At the wing position, he has great size and could probably play both positions if he develops.
His top skill is clearing his shooting. He has great form when he's balanced, though he does have a tendency to fade too often. In Boston's offense, I really look forward to seeing how Brad Stevens uses him off-ball, since Young is quite good moving and creating space for a player his age.
Young is a very aggressive ball handler and bullies his way to the rim, which could certainly make for a "tough" pairing alongside Marcus Smart, who the Celtics picked at #6. He must add a right hand though, or else his at-rim percentages will struggle since he always defers to is left.
The primary concern with Young is his defense. He lacks awareness, misses rotations, and plays occasionally lazy man-to-man defense. However, with solid athleticism, a 7-foot wingspan, and flashes of a "killer attitude," perhaps the Celtics will be able to make him "buy in" on the defensive end.
Overall, I would've rather have had Gary Harris or Kyle Anderson here. I think both are better players and fit the team much better, but I can't disagree with the pick since this signals that the Celtics are "going Young." Yes, pun intended.