James Young, the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, will be moseying into Milwaukee for the Bucks training camp this Fall. This comes on the heels of Matt Velazquez’s report that Milwaukee had several prominent big league washouts currently searching for a home whisk through town last week to workout.
Among those guys, I suppose Young would be the most “exciting” of the bunch, although Hasheem Thabeet would probably supply the heaviest dose of both deadpan and nauseating discussion. Still, on paper, Young fits the sort of archetype most teams are looking for now to fill the wing spot. By his fourth year, that paper is relatively meaningless, but it still prints out a 6’7” guard with a 7’ wingspan who can stroke the three, hitting 40.6% of this threes and averaging 18.7 points per game with the Maine Red Claws during his two years there.
Unfortunately, that production hasn’t translated to the NBA-level, where he’s mostly been an afterthought during Boston’s steady incline to relevancy in the Eastern Conference. Last year he appeared in just 29 games, averaging 7.6 minutes in those appearances. He did have a career-best 34.3% 3-point percentage, albeit on just 1.2 attempts per game. All in all, Young’s career to this point looks remarkably similar to the 17th pick in the 2015 draft, Rashad Vaughn.
The primary difference being opportunity, and whereas Vaughn has had ample chances to show his mettle, Young’s primarily been stuck behind the glut of players Boston’s rounded into shape from their overflowing coffer of draft selections. Cream rises to the top though, and Young’s been more skim than full fat to this point in his career. If he had the chops to make it in Steven’s system, he surely would’ve found his way onto the court. Vaughn’s in a similar position, although he took deference far more last year than his rookie year, when his 1,001 total minutes outstripped Young’s entire career total to this point (751).
All in all though, the Bucks could do worse than trying to bring in a wing with a similar skillset to their youthful third-year guard who’s sunk more than swam. Training camp invitees rarely actually make it onto the actual team, but perhaps it’s a chance to see whether Young could be of better use with the Herd this year should he be so inclined to remain in the G-League.