The 17th overall pick in 2014, James Young has yet to really come into his own in the NBA. The Celtics shooting guard appeared in just 31 games this past season, averaging 10.7 minutes, 3.4 points, and 1.4 rebounds per contest while spending most of his year in the D-League. Due to his quiet rookie year, many have criticized Young’s work ethic and desire.
But the 19-year-old is responding in a big way. Young has gotten in the gym this offseason, and is proving that he has the drive to contribute at the highest level.
Per Chris Forsberg of ESPN:
Here’s what most haven’t seen: If the Celtics maintained a leaderboard for offseason hours in the gym, Young would be near the top. A familiar presence since the end of the season, he often engages in two-a-day sessions at the team’s training facility. The results? He’s carrying 15 pounds of additional muscle, has trimmed his body fat and has added three inches to his vertical over the past year, the fruits of a newfound dedication to the weight room.
Young admits his work ethic might not have been at the level it needed to be when he arrived in the NBA. The weight room wasn’t a top priority for a player who previously got by on pure skill and athleticism. But what a sobering rookie experience taught him was that he needed to get stronger to defend multiple positions, that he had to find new ways to generate his own offense, and that he had to work harder than he ever had to simply get on the floor.
And to be absolutely certain, Young is putting in the effort.