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Celtics pass on James Young’s fourth-year option

Boston Celtics guard James Young (13) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Denver. Boston won 121-101. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

James Young has not become a key contributor for the Celtics despite arriving in Boston as a first-round pick. Selected No. 17 overall in 2014, Young is not slated to play in the Celtics’ rotation this season as of now, so Boston is making a decision to pass on a long-term commitment to the 21-year-old guard.

Boston declined Young’s option for the 2017-2018 season, making the 6-6 wing player an unrestricted free agent next summer, Bobby Marks of The Vertical reports.

The up-and-comer is set to make just more than $1.8 million this season as the Celtics’ 12th-highest paid player but will now be off Boston’s books, in all likelihood, by July 2017. The Celtics could re-sign him next summer but could only offer a maximum of $2.8 million, which would have been the value of this fourth-year option, Marks reports.

Boston only has seven players on its books at more than $1.9 million next season – big man Al Horford, guard Avery Bradley, center Tyler Zeller, point guard Isaiah Thomas, swingman Jae Crowder, forward Jaylen Brown and a key reserve backcourt fixture in Marcus Smart – but has not seen enough from Young to make him part of that contingent. The Kentucky product has been one of Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari’s least successful one-and-dones, averaging 2.2 points for his career.

Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens played Young in 31 games during his rookie season with those intervals averaging out to 10.7 minutes per game. He scored 3.4 points per night as a rookie but saw his usage plummet further in 2015-2016. For another playoff-bound Celtics team, Young played in fewer than seven minutes per game and saw action in just 29 contests, averaging one point per outing.

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