While the Celtics were clawing for a playoff spot last season, James Young was quietly putting together 30+ point games up in Maine.
Out of sight and out of mind, Boston’s 17th pick in 2014 enters training camp with little fanfare, but it could be Young who fills the team’s need for a pure scorer.
Several writers here at CelticsBlog think that a franchise big man could be the key pick up to make this roster really click, but I tend to agree more with Wes and his theory that a “point forward” is the next big move for these Celtics.
A franchise big man would be a great luxury for the Celtics, but in lieu of that, Brad Stevens has created a system that caters to a player that can operate in space.
Boston currently has nine players on their rookie contracts and only the Sixers (24.4), Jazz (24.6), Bucks (24.9), and Magic (25.3), have a lower average age than these young Celtics (25.7).
When the Celtics invested their 17th pick in then 18-year-old James Young last summer, it was certainly a move not made for the immediate future or even the near future.
Danny Ainge and company were thinking long, long term with the possibility that Young would only be 23 in the final year of his rookie contract and possibly nowhere near his full potential.
Some of that has to do with Jeff Green starting the season with the Celtics and the trade for and emergence of Jae Crowder, but mainly, it’s because Young just wasn’t ready.
Systematically, Young is the type of player that the Celtics’ are in dire need for: a wing player that can potentially finish off plays with his jumper or penetration and create for himself if needed.
Ideally, teammates like Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Terry Rozier, and Evan Turner will initially break down the defense and find Young with the D already compromised.