Prospect of the Day - Sam Young

Sam Young,
Senior, Pittsburgh,
NBA Position: SF,
H: 6'7, W: 223, Age: 24 

First, his age definitely limits his upward potential.   A 24 year old isn't likely to come into the NBA and grow by leaps and bounds going forward.    That's not to say there is no room for improvement, any prospect going into the league will improve over the first couple years by adjusting to the league, but his skills are probably where they are.   

There is some upside to that though.   Young comes in a strong, filled
out, NBA ready body.   He has experience plays well within his
limitations and should be a contributor from day one which isn't
something likely to happen with most picks going late in the first
He's a decent spot up shooter.   Whether he can develop NBA range with
practice will go a long way towards telling how valuable a role player
he could be on the next level.   He doesn't shoot well off the dribble
particularly well or use the pull up jumper.    He's best at shooting
in a catch and shoot situation.  

When driving, Young can be effective when he has space initially.  
This happened frequently when Blair was getting tons of attention in
the post.   Once he starts his drive, he can use his strength and size
to finish well and attack the basket aggressively.  In these situations
where he only needs to use one or two dribbles and doesn't need to do
anything fancy he's proficient with both hands.

However, Young struggles to take guys off the dribble when set up in a
pick and roll or in isolation.   In situations where he has to do more
extensive ball handling, he isn't as capable and doesn't find much
success creating separation or getting past his man.    As a very poor
isolation player, it's unlikely that he'll be a shot creator at the
next level.   He's best working as an off the ball piece and a minor
part of the offense.

While it's unlikely to be used, it's worth mentioning that he's a very
solid post up player.  Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine a 6'7 player
posting up frequently at the NBA level.    Another strength is his
transition play.   He makes good decisions when he has the ball and is
a capable finisher when on the wing.

He's somewhat of a black hole as a player.    Given that he's not a
shot creator, he's going to be shooting a large percentage of the time
he touches the ball on kick outs.

He was a solid rebounder and should be very good for a wing rebounder
at the next level.    While he did spend a good chunk of time at PF in
college which inflated his rebounding totals vs other small forward
candidates, he's definitely a three at the next level.   

Defensively, Young is solid.   He stays in front of his man and
displays nice lateral quickness while doing so.   His primary impact in
the NBA will have to be defensively, because his offensive game is
pretty rough around the edges.   

How well his defense translates and how well he learns to shoot the NBA
three will go a long way towards defining his career.   Young has the
potential to be the guy every team wants, the guy who shoots threes and
plays tight defense and doesn't demand many looks in the offense other
than kick outs while spacing the floor.

If he can successfully be that guy he'd be an extremely valuable
addition to any team.   If he can't improve his range and three point
percentages or his defense doesn't translate to the next level then he
could also be a guy who's not long for the NBA.


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  • Please fall to no. 26, Sam Young. That is all.

  • Do you think he'll be able to defend a SG? I doubt he'll be able to handle most PF, and it's important for a defensive guy to be able to handle more than one position.

    I like the guy, but I'm not sure I like his chances in the NBA, and as of now SF is probably our deepest position (except PG, if Hinrich doesn't get traded) with Deng, Salmons, and even TT able to put in minutes. If we trade Deng... I hear this guy named Ariza may be open to a new situation. I kind of like the sound of this wing rotation:

    SF: Salmons/Ariza/TT
    SG: Gordon/Salmons

    Give Ariza a very real chance to start (please!), and to make things even better, throw in Terrence Williams at #16 or Paul Harris at #26 or with a 2nd round pick we might find ourselves with along the way.

    Any idea what kind of salary Ariza might draw next year?

  • Someone's going to Jared Jeffries Ariza this summer (where Jared Jeffries is used as a verb), and, if that someone isn't the Lakers, then they're going to regret it. Fine role player, but a role player nonetheless.

    Paul Harris is a long way short of a first round talent. He's probably not even a second round talent.

  • It looks like he's rising, Givony was very impressed at the big Nets workout. From the sounds of it, he absolutely embarrassed Budinger, and was even potent on offense.

    The guy is only 6'3", but he has an almost 7" wingspan, a 36" standing vertical, and is pure and simply ripped. He's got a work ethic on him, and has made it very clear he has the dedication to being a defensive force. With the upside his offense is showing and his desire... he could be the steal of this draft/undrafted class.

    Depending on who else is available at #26, I wouldn't mind seeing the Bulls reaching. At the very least, he'll impart a great work ethic to the locker room. I know it's a huge reach, and Gar Paxford would get crucified for it, but I'm really starting to like the kid.

    I agree that Ariza is a role player (unless he really develops that three ball), but I wouldn't mind him starting for a couple years if we trade Deng. It would be a hell of a lot better than Salmons starting, and I think his game matches up well next to Rose. You know what, let's just sign him and trade Salmons. I wonder if San Antonio would still want him.

  • Obviously that's an almost 7' wingspan.

  • Paul Harris is a 6'4 small forward finisher and rebounder with absolutely no jumpshot and a tendency to drift towards the rim on defense. If he was four inches taller, he's a first rounder. But he isn't, and he doesn't have the overwhelming skill to make up for that.

  • Nah, he projects as a 6'4" SG who can guard PG, SG, or SF, will be a solid rebounder from the wing, and has a surprisingly good jump shot and handle that was horribly underutilized at Syracuse because they never, ever ran a play for him. He was a top ten recruit going into college who made a bad decision as far as school (and a couple others, too). As such, despite his age, he probably has some extra room for development that wasn't given a chance in college.

    In my eyes, he's exactly the kind of guy you want to draft in the mid to late second round of most drafts. Someone with a great work ethic, with something that might have delayed his development, or that might have kept him from fully displaying his skills in college. This draft being what it is, and us not having a second rounder, I'm not so sure that would be a bad strategy at #26.

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