James Young continues to mature as a NBA rookie

When you are as highly touted rookie on a bad team, you expect to get a lot of playing time.

That hasn't been the case for Celtics rookie James Young. He has been back and forth from Boston to the NBA D-League's Maine Red Claws what seems like a 100 times. Where most rookies would be insulted by the constant movement, Young has shown an understanding of the process.

The 17th overall selection in last year's draft had this to say earlier in the month per ESPN's Chris Forsberg:
It’s more of a confidence thing; get my confidence up.

He certainly showed how high is confidence was when he poured in 27 points for the Red Claws on January 3rd:

A quick glance at the D-League highlight video and, as a Celtics fan, you dream of Young torching a team from downtown in the playoffs some hot June night in the future. But as far as his production on the NBA level, his 13-point effort on January 12th against the Hornets continues to be the shining moment of his time in Boston:

Since that impressive shooting display against Charlotte, he has only logged 32 total minutes in four games.

For now Young should spend some extended time with the big club. He is currently with the team in Portland, preparing for Thursday's game against the Trail Blazers. But just because he is with the team, doesn't guarantee Young any playing time. The biggest factor in Young's future development is linked to the future of Marcus Thornton and what management plans to do with the shooting guard.

If the team is to find a taker for Thornton and his $8 million expiring contract, then Young's minutes would most certainly increase.

There are varying opinions by fans regarding Brad Stevens, but you can't deny that he is coaching to win. He believes his best shot at winning is playing Thornton. Although it would help to give some of those minutes to the rookie, you can't argue with the coach's determination to get a W.

The toughest thing to swallow about Young's rookie season is the missed opportunity he had in December when Thornton was out injured. The rooks name would have been called upon off the bench, but unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for an extended time. Add that to the hamstring issue he had in training camp, as well as the concussion he suffered in a car accident before June's draft, and it seems like Young has been continuously behind the eight ball.

Well on the bright side at least Young has a much better hairline than Thornton. He has that going for him, right?

But the 19-year old Young, like he has all year, stayed positive about the injury back in December:

James had this to say in an article back in December by Celtic Hub's Brian Robb:

I’ve always been kind of littler than anybody on the team.I knew physically I wasn’t ready, but I’ve been getting in the gym with (strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo) a lot and I’m just starting to catch up. I know it’s going to take a few years to get to where I need to be but I’m just patiently waiting.

He is certainly saying all the right things regarding his first year in the league. Young's time will come, and when it does, his hard work and determination will only benefit him and the team.

CSNNE had an excellent piece last week on their show Celtics Insider regarding Young's rookie season.

Those bus rides to Maine, can only make the young man tougher. But whether it's in Maine, Boston or a random gym across the country, that sweet shooting stroke should be a staple in the C's rotation very soon. Young seemingly understands this, and is willing to put in the work that will help him once his number is called on a regular basis.

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