2014 NBA Draft: Atlanta Hawks Must Target James Young

By Andrew Shaw
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If there is a player like James Young available with the 15th overall pick, the Atlanta Hawks must seriously consider taking him. The small forward/shooting guard out of Kentucky has arguably the highest potential out of anyone in the draft not named Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid. However, his potential alone is not why the Hawks are interested. In college, Young showcased an impressive offensive game to go alongside a better than average defensive ability, and Atlanta loves players who can be effective on both ends of the floor.

So don’t be surprised if the Hawks take him with their 15th overall selection in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-6 wing player would be an excellent addition to the current roster. He averaged 14.3 points and pulled down 4.3 rebounds per game last season with the Wildcats. These numbers might not sound like a big deal, but on a Kentucky team loaded with NBA talent Young’s statistics are very impressive. Put him on almost on any other team in the country, and I guarantee his averages would be higher. Either way, I don’t think the numbers are what will stop the Hawks from taking Young.

They are more interested in the young wing player because of his future potential. The fact that he is only 18 years old right now means he has plenty of time to come into his own. Give him a year to polish his game while he comes off the bench for Atlanta, and Young could potentially be a steal with the 15th pick.

He’s already proven that he has the ability to rise over defenders and hit jumpers at the college level, which is necessary for NBA success. If he can just become more consistent with his jumper when he enters the league, he will be great. Put him in coach Mike Budenholzer‘s offensive system as well, and I don’t see any reason why Young can’t become a star at the next level. It’s just going to take some time for the winger to develop his game if the Hawks decided to select him in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Andrew Shaw is an Atlanta Hawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @AShaw003, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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