Denver Nuggets: Nuggets should trade down for James Young

Too Good to Pass Up

There is a player in this NBA draft that a number of teams will pass on and will eventually regret it in the future. That player is James Young. Lottery teams see him as too high of a risk; a swingman that chucks untimely threes, has questionable shot selection, and is a liability on defense. His supporters will counter that the previous evaluation is a case of analysis paralysis; that NBA executives are looking too closely at the negatives in Young’s game to see the inevitable jackpot that lies before them. Young, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound freshman from the University of Kentucky, has the physical tools and skill set to become one of the NBA’s premier scorers and his ceiling is frankly too high to overlook. While the 11th pick is too high to take Young considering his current perceived value, the Nuggets should trade down in the first round to get Young, along with another late first-round pick in exchange for the 11th pick.

At his full potential, Young will be a prolific NBA scorer and a solid defender. In his freshman season under John Calipari, Young was primarily a spot-up shooter and relied heavily on his jumper to score. He rarely made an impression in the paint during his freshman season, but when he did his fluid athleticism was on full display.  Young is a solid rebounder and his 7-foot wingspan will serve him well on the NBA boards as well as on the defensive end, an area that he must improve at the next level.With that said, it is important to add that Young is the third-youngest player in the draft. He will turn 19 in August, and on a roster with a veteran shooting guard he will have time to marinate and acclimate himself to the NBA game.


James Young, top left, would fit well into the Nuggets future plans.

Great fit for the future

The Nuggets should take a chance with Young. If Denver trades the 11th pick they have a shot to get back two later picks in return. Young is projected to be selected in the 17 to 24 range and if Nuggets can sneak in that window the could snag Young. With Randy Foye slated to be the starting two-guard in Denver come October, Young will have the opportunity to come off the bench and progress slowly. By the time he’s ready to play starter minutes he will be paired with Ty Lawson to create a formidable backcourt for the future. The two players fit together nicely withLawson’s knack for penetration and creating off the dribble combined with Young’s scoring and shooting ability would be an ideal duo.

Ideally, the Nuggets would want two first-round picks  in return for the 11th pick. Among those projected to be available late in the round are Glenn Robinson III (SG/SF, Michigan), Cleanthony Early (SF, Wichita State), and Jerami Grant (SF, Syracuse).

The Nuggets very well may go ahead and take a player with the 11th pick. But it would be wise to trade down and get two picks, one being Young. Young’s ideal size and length combined with his natural skill make him a pick too good to pass up, as many teams will do on draft night.

  • Anthony M. Catania

    Dude… way to predict this move. You nailed this prediction. I didn’t see it coming.