Danny Ainge's favorite experiment has found a home for the regular season. James Young, the 2014 first round pick out of Kentucky, has been signed to a training camp contract by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Young was always the mediocre player who Danny kept in town. The last time we saw this was in 2016, when the Boston Celtics needed to lose some extra weight to begin the season. There was one roster spot remaining, and it was either going to be for Young, or for R.J. Hunter. Even though Hunter saw more minutes than Mr. Young, and actually put up some O.K. numbers in the games that he played, he was still voted off of the island, and James Young remained on the Celtics.
What did Danny see in James Young? Well, for one, he was drafted at the age of 18 years old, which isn't typical in today's age. He'd have plenty of time to grow and mature into an NBA talent. I guess Danny was staying patient, and hoping that one day, Young would step into his role and obtain a roster spot. Unfortunately, we never saw that happen.
Secondly, James Young is a big boy. When he entered the NBA, he measured a whopping 6-feet-7-inches, and weighed a solid 215 pounds. That's pretty hefty for an 18 year old shooting guard, and the expectation was that he'd add strength and get even bigger in the League. He's taller than most players at the two, and his wingspan is that of an albatross, which helped in his defensive pursuits. Coming into the league, he seemed like a dude with loads of potential, who already had an NBA frame, which explains why he was chosen with the #17 overall pick.
He also preformed well in college, starting 39 of his 40 games played on a stacked Wildcat's team, and averaging 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists per game. In his solo season playing college ball, he finished second all-time on UK's single-season three-pointers-made list, hitting 82 shots from downtown that season. These stats earned him multiple honors, including being named to the SEC All-Freshman team and the NCAA All-Tournament team that season.
Since being in the pros, Young has played 89 games, all with the Cs, and averaged 2 points and 1 rebound per game. That's underwhelming. What keeps him on GMs' radars are his stats in the NBA G-League. With the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' affiliate team, he averaged 19 points, five and a half rebounds, with a steal per contest. He's also shot the lights out from behind the arc, shooting 41% from long range.