One of the young men pictured above played yesterday in Boston’s first Summer League game.
The other, the 17th pick in the draft James Young, did not, and it’s starting to look less and less like we’ll see him before the regular season. The Celtics are being exceedingly careful with Young after he was involved in a minor car accident a few weeks ago. Jay Larranaga, Boston’s Summer League head coach, once again emphasized yesterday that he is “not a medical professional,” and he will play James Young when the medical staff makes him available, but as the week stretches on, the chances of seeing Boston’s second first-round pick are becoming slimmer.
Brad Stevens was asked if he knew anything further (quotes from MassLive.com’s Jay King).
“Tomorrow we’re going to get more information and go from there,” Stevens said. “I don’t know what (the team medical staff is) doing. They just said they’re going to let me know what the plan is for the rest of the week.”
So…more of the same. For his part, Young said he was excited to get on the court but understands his health limitations.
“Health always comes first,” Young said after not practicing with the team once again on Sunday. “I’m just trying to get better and just go from there. It’s a great organization. Individually, they help everybody out. And as a team, it’s a strong team and everybody’s there for each other. I just can’t wait to get started.”
He’s right, of course. Health is much more important than Summer League. But for players like James Young, Summer League is a nice tool — a chance to match up against other professional players who may not be as talented, but also have no guaranteed deals and are ready to run you off the court if they can. Summer League is ragged, and borderline NBA players can dominate at times, but it’s very competitive. Few things can motivate people like a paycheck that isn’t guaranteed.
James Young is raw. He is going to struggle in the NBA at first, especially on the defensive end. Playing in Summer League wouldn’t change that, but it would be a nice chance to get some NBA-level burn before the regular season hits him like a sledgehammer.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.