Editor’s Note: As we get closer to the draft, it’s time to talk about possible draft picks for the Hornets. Over the next month, we will preview guys that could end up going to the Hornets at either picks number 9, 24, or 45, culminating in two mock drafts. Also during this time span, we will preview other options the Hornets have such as trading picks or available free-agents. Stick with us for original analysis and predictions all summer long!
Player Essentials: James Young
Strengths: The main draw to James Young is his ability to make the open shot from beyond the arc. While most of his shots in college came from spot-up opportunities, Young managed to convert on almost 35% of his three-point shots while scoring 14.3 points per game as a freshman at Kentucky. At the next level, Young could instantly provide some offensive firepower off the bench for almost any NBA team.
In addition, at the two-guard spot, James Young possesses great length at 6’7” that gives him the ability to shoot over defenders, block shots, and get the occasional hand in the passing lane. While Young’s length won’t make him as a player, it will certainly give him an advantage at the next level.
Weaknesses: As athletic as Young appears to be at times while on the basketball court, the Kentucky product struggles tremendously on defense. Whether it’s being out of position or overplaying dribble penetration, Young always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on defense.
Despite being a solid shooter from three-point rage, Young seems to have problems effectively creating his own shot off of the dribble. With ballhandling and mid-range shooting shortcomings, Young could struggle to avoid becoming a one-dimensional player in the NBA.
The best case for James Young is that he develops as a defender and as a player who can score off of the dribble by attacking the basket. If he does that, Young could be a solid scorer in the NBA who could hold is own defensively. Combine a multi-dementianal scorer, great length, and solid defense, and you have yourself a fantastic option to be a starting shooting guard or small forward in a few year's time.
If Young continues to struggle to defend and can't expand his game offensively, he will undoubtably become an average role-player in the NBA. The good thing for Young is that he can shoot and the NBA will never have too many shooters, so there will always be a place for him the league for as long as he's effective.
To be honest, I’m not a very big fan of the thought of James Young wearing the Hornets’ purple and teal next season. While the Kentucky product is still young and has plenty of room to grow, I’m not sure if he’ll be able to do more than shoot threes in the NBA - and he’s not even the close to being the best shooter in this year’s draft. Young also struggles to create his own shot off of the bounce, isn’t an explosive athlete, and didn’t show great defensive ability in college. If the Hornets’ pick came down to Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, and James Young, all of whom are potential two-guards in the NBA, I would undoubtedly eliminate Young from the pack first if it we're my decision. While Young will be able to find a home with an NBA team somewhere, Charlotte is not the right fit for him or the Hornets at this point in time.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe