Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard/forward James Young (1) dunks between Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah (35) and Connecticut Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels (2) in the second half during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Profile: James Young

With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we shift our focus directly to the June 26th NBA Draft. Over the next month we’ll look at some of the top prospects in the draft, along with players that the Magic either reportedly worked out, or interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine. Kentucky swingman James Young is next.

The first member of Kentucky’s loaded 2013 recruiting class to leave for the NBA is swingman James Young. Young, who was ranked eighth in ESPN’s Top-100 in 2013, had an up and down season at Kentucky; however, despite his inconsistencies, he is considered to be a late lottery to mid-first round pick.


Points   Rebound %   Assist %   Usage %   TS%
2013-14   14.3 7.5 10.8 23.4 53.6


Despite being highly recruited, Young was somewhat disappointing his one season in Lexington. He didn’t score at a particularly high rate, and did so very inefficiently. His rebounding percentage paints somewhat of a poor picture, however, as Young was a very solid rebounder this season.



Height w/shoes   Weight   Wingspan   Standing Reach   Max Vert
6’ 6.75” 213 7’ 0” 8’ 8” 35.5



  • Physical Tools

Young has a great frame, which will help make transition into the NBA slightly smoother. Standing at nearly 6’ 7” with a 7’ 0” wingspan, the Flint, Michigan native seemingly has prototypical size for a wing in the NBA. He’s going to be able to add weight and muscle as well, which will help him down the line with some of the bigger, stronger wings the game has to offer. Despite having a fantastic frame, Young leaves some to be desired speed wise. Even without great speed, Young is still able to play above the rim with ease, and has great explosiveness as well.

  • Shooting Ability

While his percentages don’t jump off the page, Young is a solid jump shooter. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Young attempted more spot up jumpers than any player in the country. He’s able to use his great size to get shots up over defenses with ease, but his percentage leaves much to be desired when he’s guarded. Young knocked down just 32 percent of his contested jumpers, compared to 45 percent of his open attempts this season. Clearly, Young can be an efficient jump shooter, but needs the time and space to be able to knock them down at a solid rate.


  • One Dimensional Offensively

While his jump shooting will help him early in his career, Young will need to improve other areas of his offensive game. He was good finishing in transition, and could knock down pull-up jumpers at times, but other than that, he has work to do. He wasn’t used in one on one situations much at Kentucky, so there’s questions if he’ll be able to at the next level. Young’s ball handling, and pick and roll ability is also relatively lackluster at this point, and he’s not much of a threat off the bounce either. Of college players in DraftExpress’ Top-100, Young ranked ranked 65th of 74 players in two-point field goal percentage, which needs to be improved on as well.

  • Defense

At this point in his career, Young is seemingly non-existent on this end of the floor. Young struggled staying focused and, at times, seemed very disinterested on that end of the floor. His poor fundamentals hurt him as well, as smaller, quicker players are able to take advantage of his poor guarding position and lateral quickness to get by him with ease. The brightest part of Young’s defensive game is his rebounding, which will likely translate and help him as he works to become a better defender early in his career.


Young’s an interesting prospect (like most everyone in the first round). He turns 19 in August, so he’s one of the youngest players in this draft class. He’s somewhat advanced as a shooter, but there is much to be desired with much of the rest of his game. His one dimensional game is going to hurt him early, and he’ll need to be drafted to the right situation to be able to continue to grow.

The Magic are in need of a shooter, and Young could fit that role. However, his struggles on defense could be a worry for the Magic who finished 17th in defensive rating this season. He’s projected to be a late lottery to mid-first round pick, and with the Magic sitting at 12, Young could well be one of their better options to choose from there.


Previous Profiles 

James Michael McAdoo

Nick Johnson

Glenn Robinson III

Jordan Adams

T.J. Warren

Elfrid Payton

Zach Lavine

Kyle Anderson

Tyler Ennis

Adreian Payne

Gary Harris

Doug McDermott

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