BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced Friday night that they have picked up the third-year options on Marcus Smart and James Young, as well as the fourth-year option on Kelly Olynyk.
Smart and Olynyk’s having their options picked up was expected. The 6-foot-4 Smart is the Celtics’ starting point guard and Olynyk, a 7-footer that Boston traded up in the 2013 draft to acquire, is a regular in the team’s big man rotation.
But there was a bit of uncertainty as to whether Boston would pick up the third-year on Young’s contract.
The 20-year-old Young, selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, did little as a rookie in large part because of injuries.
Having added 20 pounds of muscle since being draft, the 6-6 Young has shown improvement defensively. However, his progress as a shooter hasn’t been nearly as promising. At this point, Young is buried on the Celtics’ depth chart having already been surpassed by rookie R.J. Hunter who was on the active roster for Friday night’s game while Young was not. Still, picking up his third year option makes sense for a number of reasons.
For starters, he just turned 20 in August so he still has a lot of growing to do both physically and in terms of maturity. And by picking up his third year, he becomes more attractive if the Celtics decide to include him in a trade.
If he were traded at some point this season, teams would have him for however many games remained in this season as well as another full season under contract.
And for Young, it gives him another full season to work on his game and continue to make strides.