The Indiana Pacers selected Joseph Young out of Oregon University with the 43rd pick in the 2015 draft. The Oregon guard entered the NBA draft after completing his senior year of college in which he earned Pac-12 player of the year honors. Young averaged nearly 20 points per game during his senior year and was a scoring machine all throughout his collegiate career. He led Oregon to a couple NCAA tournament appearances as their number one offensive threat. There is no doubting Joseph Young’s ability, but standing at 6’2”, 180 pounds, some NBA teams most likely shied away from him in the first round due to his size. He has first round talent but ended up going in the mid second round of the draft. Young is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. He will most likely have to play some point in the NBA, but scoring is what he has done his whole life.
Graphic via sporth24
Young is capable at the point but his mentality on the court is to look for his own shot first. Young quickly quieted any concern about his size during the summer league. After an average first game, he caught fire for three straight games and ended up being the leading scorer of the whole summer league, scoring over 22 points per game. He shot the ball very well and had three consecutive games scoring 25 plus points. The Indiana Pacers took notice and quickly signed Young to a four year contract following his strong summer league performance. Despite his small size, Young has no problem getting off his shot. He is extremely quick and can get to any spot on the court. He has a good shot and uses his leaping ability on his jump shot to make up for his lack of height.
Young is a proven scorer, who should have no problem transitioning to the NBA. Still, he will be looked at as a defensive liability due to opposing team’s most likely posting him up with bigger guards. In Indiana, George Hill and recently acquired Monta Ellis will take the up the starting guard positions, but there could be minutes available off the bench. The problem is that the Pacers have CJ Miles, Rodney Stuckey, and Donald Sloan waiting to use some of these minutes. The Pacers have been a good defensive team for years but could use some help in the scoring department which plays into Young’s favor.
If the team did not re-sign Rodney Stuckey this offseason, Young could have been the main scoring guard off the bench but since they did he will have to challenge Stuckey for minutes and is unlikely to succeed, if nothing else because of inexperience at this level. He will have to prove that he can hold his own on defense and that his size will not be a negative factor in that area. Young could become a sixth man that provides a scoring punch off the bench at some point in his career but it may not be this year.
Graphic via foxsports