Young's future with Celtics unclear after option not exercised


Young's future with Celtics unclear after option not exercised

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Even after James Young edged out R.J. Hunter for the final roster spot for the Boston Celtics, you knew his long-term future with the Boston Celtics was on thin ice.
Monday afternoon pretty much cemented it with the Celtics choosing not to pick up the fourth-year option on Young’s contract that would have paid him $2.8 million next season.
That means Young will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the first time he will have a chance to test his appeal beyond being a Celtic.
But there’s a problem: Young has not played much during his two-plus years in Boston.
As a Celtic, Young has averaged 2.2 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.4 assists while appearing in 60 games. Did we mention that he’s shooting 34.1 percent from the field and 25.0 percent on 3s for his career?
Those numbers have factored heavily into why you don’t see him on the floor often.
And that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon as the 6-foot-6 wing has not played (coaches decision) in any of Boston’s first three games.
“It’s tough; real tough,” Young told CSNNE.com of not playing.
Young has by all accounts done a lot of the things Boston has wanted him to do, from gaining weight to help strengthen his frame to improving as a defender.
But the improvements have not been enough to get him on the floor with any level of consistency.
And now that he’s two-plus seasons into his pro career, he acknowledges that being patient is getting a lot harder with time.
“It’s been tough, not playing,” he admitted. “But I can only control so much. I’m just going to keep working, playing a lot of two-on-two and when I get my chance just go out there and ball.”
That opportunity to play may once again involve Young heading back to the Maine to play for the Red Claws, Boston’s Development League affiliate.
Going into this third NBA season, Young isn’t all that thrilled about a third tour of duty through the D-League.
“It’s tough … it’s going to be my third year going to the D-League, that’ll be tough,” Young said. “But just to be fresh, ready to go and keep my wind and conditioning.”
For first-round picks like Young, the D-League is supposed to be a training ground of sorts to get them some playing time when there isn’t as clear a path to playing with the NBA club.
But the problem Young is running into is the path towards time with the Celtics is showing no signs of clearing up anytime soon.
The first red flag that his chances of seeing action this season would be challenging, was when Boston signed former Celtic Gerald Green to a one-year, $1.4 million veteran’s minimum contract.
Both players are about the same height and build, play the same position but there’s one difference: Green is a proven commodity in the NBA and Young is not.
While the 21-year-old Young has shown improvement and at times signs of being a decent NBA player, the Celtics are in a win-right-now mode so the development of young players isn’t as huge a priority.
That’s why they went out and signed Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract and in the process allowed Jared Sullinger (in Toronto) to leave.
And that’s why Green has been a regular in Boston’s bench rotation thus far this season while Young watches, waits and wonders when his opportunity to play will come.
“Like I said, it’s real tough. I try to keep a level head, stay humble about the process and keep getting better,” Young said. “I still haven’t reached my full potential.”
He’s right, but it remains to be seen if it’ll happen in Boston or elsewhere.

Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter. 


Celtics snap skid with dominant win over Magic, 92-83

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Celtics snap skid with dominant win over Magic, 92-83

The Orlando Magic are one of the few teams already eliminated from playoff contention. 

And on Friday, it didn’t take long to see why.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST - Smart's importance, dissecting the Eastern Conference

The Boston Celtics didn’t waste any time taking control of the game and never letting up as they cruised to a 92-83 win.

Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe led the Celtics with 17 points each and Shelvin Mack had 16 points and seven rebounds for Orlando.  

With the win, the Celtics (47-22) snapped a two-game losing skid and improved their record since returning from the All-Star break to 7-3. 

Getting back on a winning track was just part of Boston’s motivation heading into Friday night’s game. 

With several key players out with injuries, the Celtics’ depth was once again on display from the opening tip to the final horn. 

In the first half, reserve guard Shane Larkin led the team in scoring with 10 points. 

And in the third quarter, backup center Greg Monroe was too much for the Magic to handle around the basket.

In the third, Monroe scored 10 of his 17 points off Boston’s bench. 

This was a game that the Celtics showed few signs of the kind of let-up we have seen them display against bad teams from time to time. 

But Orlando opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run that cut Boston’s lead down to 77-61 with 9:18 to play. 

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had seen enough and called a time-out. 

Orlando was able to chip away a little more at Boston’s lead which peaked at 24 points but was down to single digits in the fourth which provided a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe, the Magic could get back in the game.

But when it mattered, Boston made the plays in the game’s closing moments to secure the victory. 

For the Celtics, the goal on Friday night was two-fold: find a way to win and come away healthy. 

Boston found success on both fronts, a refreshing change the Celtics hope to do more of going forward. 

Marcus Smart underwent surgery on his right thumb earlier in the day, which is expected to keep him sidelined for 6-8 weeks which would put his return to the floor at the earliest, sometime near the end of the first round of the playoffs or early into the second. 

Daniel Theis underwent season-ending surgery recently for a meniscus tear in his left knee.

And Boston played without Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness), but he might back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against New Orleans.

Al Horford returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games due to an illness, and he didn’t disappoint in finishing with a near double-double of 15 point and nine rebounds.