2014 NBA Draft Prospect Evaluation: James Young

We continue our coverage of college prospects for the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft which is set to take place on June 26, 2014. This week we take a look at Kentucky’s athletic guard, James Young.

Evan Mielke covers College Basketball for Raining3s.com and provides his analysis.

Raining3s’ 2014 NBA Draft Evaluation: James Young

Photo: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
Photo: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

James Young:  (18 years old, Freshman SG/SF, University of Kentucky via Rochester, MI)

Physical tools:

James Young is a future-proof 3-guard. At 6’7” and 215 pounds, he has the size to guard all of the backcourt positions, as well as smaller 4s. His wingspan is pretty much 7 feet, perfect for shooting over a majority of guard defenders in the NBA.

Youtube Highlights:

Athletic ability:

Outstanding. May be the most graceful leaper in the whole draft. Young’s dunking ability and his desire to stuff the ball are second to none. The guy floats like he’s skating on clouds.

Playmaking ability:

Always makes the extra pass, and he’s usually on point. Very good at drawing a double team and finishing transition plays.

Outside shooting ability:

From a form standpoint and as a southpaw, Young’s shooting is quite elegant. Yet, his shooting numbers are only good at 34%, but not great. He has the ability to be a great shooter. Young needs to work on picking and choosing his shots in a more effective manner. He seems to actually prefer shooting OVER defenders rather than taking wide-open shots. This is both frustrating and very promising at the same time.

Ability to get his own shot:

Not really on display so much in the regular season, but it is present. He can go right with his left with adequate speed, but Young lacks the footwork and center of gravity to create space necessary for an uncontested shot in the league at his position.


Harden-esque. He goes over screens when he should go under, and visa versa. He seems to not understand basic fundamentals of defense and closes out below average at best. However, he has all the physical tools to be a capable NBA defender.

Basketball IQ and intangibles:

Young has a knack for put-backs and generally demoralizing the opponent with flashes of brilliant, effortless athleticism. He also has a knack for shooting his team out of games and letting his man score career-highs. Shot selection and defensive focus need immediate work.

Projected position in the NBA:

3 (Small Forward)

Projected draft position:


Comparable NBA player:

Thaddeus Young with a jump shot.


– Evan Mielke (draft evaluation)

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Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom