Athletically, Young is an above average athlete regardless of whether he plays shooting guard or small forward. While he will not blow people away with his athleticism, he has solid quickness, some surprising hops, and is an aggressive player.
Young’s size is definitely intriguing. At 6’7, 215 pounds, and a 7 foot wingspan, he would make a monster sized shooting guard or a good sized small forward. Young has great tools to succeed at the next level. Combine this with the fact that he will not turn 19 until August (one of the youngest players you’ll find in the draft with the one and done rule), and he has lots of growth potential as well.
Young possesses a solid understanding of the game. While a solid, but not spectacular, athlete, there are times where Young uses his understanding to get to the spots he wants for shots. That said, he still has a lot to learn about the game.
Defensively, he has many tools to develop into a good defender, but repeatedly was blown by opponents despite playing hard. Offensively, while having a nice compact shooting motion and game, he would often show poor shot selection.
Skill-wise, Young has a chance to be very solid at the next level. He shows promise as a shooter taking nearly six threes a game and knocking them down at a 35% clip. When an opponent closes out on him, he will typically drive to the hole if going left or pull up for a jumper when going right. Defensively, when low to the ground and not playing mechanical, he shows solid defensive potential.
That said, there are several concerns with Young as well. First and foremost, while playing hard and showing good defensive potential, his defense was just flat out bad. Consistently, Young is blown by smaller ball-handlers. Going around screens, he showed better progress but he’ll have a learning curve there too.
Offensively, while flashing great potential, what particular skill does he stand out on? He has a nice jumper with good form, but he only shot 35% from three and 70% from free-throw line. Most good shooters shoot better than 70% from free throw line. While being guarded, he does have a bit of a pull-up game, right now he is easy to figure out that if he uses his right-hand it will be a 2 dribble pull-up or a drive to the rack with his left-hand.
The question for me with Young is how much will he improve? At age 18, he’s still got plenty of room to grow. He shows lots of promise to become a great shooter, has good size and solid athleticism. He shows a good understanding of the game and plays hard. The tools are there, but is he going to be a top 10 player in this draft or a taller version of C.J. Miles?
Overall, I feel Young has a chance to be a player that can go from late lottery to late teens. Young is an enticing talent and should find a career at the NBA level just by being average. Is he one of those players who’s shot is better than he showed at Kentucky like Bradly Beal? Will he be a better defender once paired in a more structured defensive system?
To me out of the prospects of Rodney Hood, Gary Harris, and Nik Staukas, Young has a chance to be the best player. However, due to his inconsistency and lack of a standout skill, I would only take Young if I had plenty of patience to deal with a potentially bumpy ride. There is no knock on his character, but I just feel he will be one of those players that might take 3 years to fully see what you might have and if the best case is a solid player, then you have a solid player.
How does he fit with the Bulls?
The Bulls need players that can provide one elite skill if not doing a total rebuild. Rodney Hood is a good shooter that shows a good understanding of the game along with being a solid athlete. Nik Stauskas is an elite shooter with ball-handling. Gary Harris is a little on the shorter side for shooting guard, but has a great understanding of the game, elite anticipation, and is a good shooter with a little slashing capability.
Young should be a solid overall player at the minimum, but in my opinion will take time to fully develop that consistency. If he does develop consistency, watch out as he might be a very good talent. However, I would rather take other players before him for the Bulls who are in a win now mode as I don’t think his athletic talent is enough to take that risk on right now.
That said, if the other three players are off the board at pick 16 (very possible), I would rather have Young than most players including Tyler Ennis, T.J. Warren, P.J. Hairston, etc…