Charlotte Hornets Draft Profile: James Young


Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard/forward James Young (1) drives the baseline defended by Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Niels Giffey (5) in the first half during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is quickly approaching, and with that comes the hype. The buzz surrounding Charlotte this offseason is a big topic right now, as the Bugs look to expand on their success from last season. The question is who will bring that change come June. Here we will take a look at the best options for the Charlotte Hornets as we kick off our Draft Profile series.

James Young


Ability to create his own shot:

James Young has a natural sense of making his own shot. He can do this from in the paint, on the drive, or in the mid range.

In just the first minute of that video, you see James Young score from the three point line, rise up for a huge dunk, and score off an alley oop.

Imagine him using that offensive versatility alongside Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson, and Gary Neal. Charlotte needs all the offensive help they can get, so adding Young to the core would bring nothing but positive production.

Replacing Gerald Henderson’s lack of offensive creativity with Young’s would be a great move at number nine.

Size mismatch:

Everyone remembers his ridiculous dunk in the championship, right?

That would not be possible if Young didn’t stand at 6′ 7″ and 213 lbs. His size allows him to tower over some of the other prominent shooting guards in the league such as Dwyane Wade, standing at 6’4″, James Harden at 6’5″, and Bradley Beal at 6’5″.

That attribute could prove pretty valuable for Charlotte, who’s point guard (Kemba Walker) stands at 6′ 1″, backup shooting guard Gary Neal stands at 6’4″, and starting shooting guard Gerald Henderson stands at 6′ 5″.


James Young is one of the youngest players in the draft at just 18 years old. Charlotte has to love the fact that Young can grow into a great player.

Young would bring youth to a somewhat experienced backcourt, where Gerald Henderson is already 26 and Gary Neal is 29.

His potential is definitely his most attractive quality, as much of his talent is still unproven after one year at Kentucky.



Just as Young’s youth is attractive, it also provides somewhat of a liability to Charlotte.

Charlotte is hesitant to commit solely to the future, as they look to be a playoff contender immediately.

If Young doesn’t develop immediately, which was the case for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte may be stuck with a guy who they want to give minutes but those minutes aren’t productive.

Charlotte would hate to just stick their ninth pick on the bench all of next season – especially if the Hornets could have traded it for a solid veteran.

3 Point shooting:

While the highlight video above showed a lot of James Young draining threes, that was not always the case last year. Young hit just 34.5 percent of his three pointers in his one year at Kentucky.

That number is slightly below Gerald Henderson’s 34.8 percent, and just above Kemba Walker’s 30 percent. While Gary Neal did hit over 40 percent of his threes as a Hornet last year, adding another brick chucker to the backcourt may not be the best decision for Rich Cho.

What he brings to Charlotte

One problem that Charlotte has had since it’s inception in 2004 is a lack of players who can create their own offense.

Guys like Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, and Kevin Durant just never fell into the hands of the Bobcats. I’m not saying that James Young is nearly as good as any of these guys, but he provides Charlotte with a piece they have not really had in their own history, with the exception of recent addition Al Jefferson.

Adding a scorer like Young would be beneficial to the Charlotte backcourt because it would relegate Gerald Henderson to more of a sixth man, energy guy role.

Henderson has been given plenty of opportunity by the Charlotte organization, and his ceiling may have been reached. Moving him to an off the bench role and replacing him with a much flashier, higher potential starter in James Young could end up being the better move for this playoff team.

Young’s ability to create his own offense will give Charlotte another option on offense, and not have to rely on big Al and Kemba Walker to run the whole offense.

Stats via DraftExpress and ESPN.

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