By LARRY VAUGHT
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas thinks Kentucky’s James Young could be a lottery pick (the top 16 picks) in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
“Young is another lefty. Really good athlete. Good catch and shoot guy,” Bilas said. “I think he can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. He is very athletic. I think he is also a pretty good defender. He is active and can get teals. Athletically, he is very impressive. I think he is a lottery pick but I can see him falling out of that. It just depends on who likes him, but I like him.”
He considers Young one of the better shooters in the draft.
“Not at the top, but not far off,” Bilas said of Young’s shooting ability. “Really good athlete. Before the lottery was done, I looked at him as a top 10, top 12 pick. So it has not surprised me (where he is in the mock drafts). I thought he was really talented. Before the season when you saw him play, a lot of guys rated him really high.”
The ESPN analyst thinks dynamic Louisville guard Russ Smith is likely a second round pick.
“He is small and has a two-guard mentality, but he has to be a point guard” Bilas said. “He got better as a distributor, but that is not his strength. His natural tendency is to score. He doesn’t see defenders, he sees openings. He is fearless. It would not surprise me to see him play in the NBA for a long period of time, but I would not be surprised if he didn’t either.”