The Boston Celtics have selected Kentucky Wildcats wing James Young with the 17th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, nabbing a player who boosted his stock in the NCAA Tournament at the end of an up-and-down freshman campaign.
Young came to Kentucky as a heralded scorer, but like the Wildcats as a whole the 6'6 wing was inconsistent. While Young averaged 14.3 points on the season where he shot just 40.7 percent overall and 34.9 percent from long distance.
However, Young had several impressive performances in the NCAA Tournament. The 18-year-old scored a team-high 20 points in the championship game loss to Connecticut and he also had a team-high 17 points in the thrilling victory over Wisconsin in the Final Four. In addition, Young had efficient scoring games in tournament victories over Wichita State and Michigan.
Young will need to show more consistency going forward if he wants to succeed in the NBA, but there's plenty of potential there if he can continue to develop. A lack of high-end athleticism could be worrisome, but he has good length and a solid skill set to potentially make up for that.
The Boston Celtics -- who already selected Marcus Smart with the 6th pick and have recent first round picks Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk down low -- had a positional need on the wing. With James Young, they add a piece who can fill that gap with both great shooting potential and athleticism. He's the prototypical small forward, and that's exactly what the Celtics need. Whether he can become more consistent will determine his success in the high-pressure Boston environment.