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Celtics select Kentucky wing James Young at No. 17

06.26.14 at 9:25 pm ET
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Once again, the Celtics stood pat, selecting 18-year-old Kentucky wing James Young with their No. 17 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

The Michigan native averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.4 minutes per game as a freshman during the Wildcats’ run to the NCAA championship game this past season. Young is probably best known for his aggressive dunk as part of his 20 points in Kentucky’s title loss to UConn.

“I feel like I have a lot of potential to get a lot better,” said Young. “I’m only 18, so as the years go on I feel like my game is going to go to a greater level.”

Considered a potential impact scorer, Young shot just 40.7 percent from the field at Kentucky after being highly recruited out of high school. Questions also exist about his commitment to defense, but the Celtics had him high on their board.

“He’s just going to get better and better,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “He’€™s a young guy. We felt like he was a very, very undervalued scoring wing in this draft. Everybody in this room had him ranked a lot higher than 17, so we were surprised he was available at 17 and thrilled that he was available at 17.”

Both Young and C’s No. 6 overall pick Marcus Smart were ranked among Stevens’ top 11 prospects. The Celtics selected the best player available on their board with each of their first-round picks, although they specifically targeted wing scoring at No. 17, the coach said. Smart and Young have worked out together this summer.

For a complete scouting report, click here.

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