LAS VEGAS –- Terry Rozier and second-year wing James Young, two of the more talked about Boston Celtics heading into summer league play, have had front office officials buzzing this week but for very different reasons.
When the Boston Celtics drafted Terry Rozier, Celtics Nation wasn’t alone in wondering, ‘what the heck is Danny Ainge up to?’
League executives were consistent in their take on Rozier as being a good player, but not necessarily good enough to be selected with the 16th overall pick.
Well, five summer league games later and the narrative on Rozier has changed dramatically.
There’s a lot to his game that still needs work, but the promise he has shown this summer has not gone unnoticed by many of his pre-draft skeptics.
“He has looked better than I thought he would at this point,” said one league executive, who had Rozier in for a pre-draft workout. “The two things we were most concerned with him –- his jumper and his ability to control the floor and not just attack, attack, attack –- he’s done a good job of balancing those two. Not great, but better than expected after a couple weeks of summer league.”
The reviews on James Young aren’t nearly as flattering.
While league executives still love the talent, his health is becoming a bigger concern even among his most ardent supporters.
Young suffered a hip injury in Boston’s third preseason game at the Utah Jazz Summer League and has not played since, adding yet another chapter to a basketball career that has been more about dealing with injuries and inconsistent play than anything else.
And it doesn’t help that the Celtics’ other first-round pick, R.J. Hunter, has been playing better from one summer league game to the next.
"If you didn’t know better, you would think that R.J. was the second-year guy and James was the rookie,” said a front-office official.
That said, don't expect the Celtics to start shopping Young anytime soon.
There isn’t a single player on this Celtics team who is above being traded.
But the younger players are less likely to be dealt, due to their potential and the fact that they aren’t making big money so the investment at this point is relatively minimum.
Still, Young has to get healthy and stay healthy enough for the Celtics to make a legit assessment of where he is as a player and even more important, whether he figures into this franchise’s future.