The Celtics have high hopes for Marcus Smart this year, but James Young might be more of a project. In the Summer Forecast series writers were asked what their expectations of Young were for this year. Kevin and I differed a little on our opinions, but Kevin is the better judge of talent, so you should probably just listen to him.
Kevin O'Connor, CelticsBlog (D-League) Unless James Young miraculously developed defense, ball handling, consistency, and/or passing over the summer, then he’s better off spending virtually the entire season in Maine. There just isn’t enough playing time go around at shooting guard or small forward and Young isn’t close to ready anyway. He certainly has encouraging raw talent, but honing in on his skills playing 30 minutes per game in Maine is better than riding the bench in Boston.
Jeff Clark, CelticsBlog (Limited impact) In another year Young might be a guy to let develop in the D-League for a year and he might still spend some time there but in this rebuilding situation he might get some minutes right away. Eventually I see him as a nice rotation 3-and-D guy. For now, I'll settle for the occasional garbage time dunk.
Apparently Brad Stevens agrees with Kevin in terms of defense being a weakness for James.
One of the youngest players in this year's draft, Young should benefit to some degree from being coached by Stevens, whose coaching career has been at the college level minus last season as the Celtics' head coach. Just like John Calipari challenged Young to continue improving in his lone season at Kentucky, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward is finding it's not all that different with the Celtics and Stevens. "Coach Stevens has really been on me about defense," Young told CSNNE. "That's how coach Cal was, too."
So do you think he'll be playing in Maine or sitting in Boston? Or do you think he''ll exceed our expectations and find a regular place in the rotation?