Gary Washburn: #Celtics free-agent James Young is playing with the #Pelicans in the Las Vegas Summer League. Trying to boost his chances for camp invite.
“With James, with that fourth year, we just want to wait and see how he progresses in this third year,” Danny Ainge said Tuesday. “It’s a big year for James, but I really like where he is. As a person and a player, he’s made great strides and is becoming more of a pro all the time.” Ainge said that Young was at the gym from 7 to about 9 p.m. Monday, long after Boston’s practice had ended. During that time Young and Ainge also sat down and discussed the team’s decision not to pick up the $2.8 million 2017-18 option.
Ainge made it clear that it does not mean Young’s time in Boston is finished. The Celtics could still sign him — for no more than the salary he was slotted to receive in his rookie deal — but before even reaching that point, they will need to see more. “I mean, listen, James has plenty of examples of guys it was a great blessing to not get their contract extended, right?” Ainge said, meaning that Young could perform well and earn a hefty payday elsewhere. “So I think he understands it. He gets it. He understands it’s an important year regardless of whether we did or we didn’t. So, yeah, he took it in a good way.”