YOUNG GUN

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
07/11/12 8:50 am EST

As Sixers fans already know by now, last Friday the team announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year contract with former Clippers guard Nick Young for close to $6 million.  The team is also ready to use the amnesty clause on veteran forward Elton Brand, while Lou Williams’ time in a Sixers uniform is also now officially over.  Needless to say, last week was a busy week for the 76ers organization.

Young spent his first four-plus seasons with the Washington Wizards before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in March.

With the Wizards last season, Young averaged 16.6 points in 40 games (32 starts).  He drew the attention of the Sixers front office in an early-season match-up where he dropped 27 points while pulling down 7 rebounds in a losing effort vs. our 7-6.

It was his efforts in games like this that ultimately drew the Clippers interest in Young as they acquired him late in the season in a three-team deal with the Wizards and Nuggets.

Young didn’t find nearly as much success with the Clippers, but still had some a few big moments with the team.  Young averaged just 9.7 points in 22 games (3 starts) and really wasn’t able to find his offensive rhythm within the Clippers system.

He did however perform at a high level for the Clippers in the playoffs. 

In the Clippers’ Game 1 match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies, when it seemed as if the Clippers had no life left, Young drained three 3-pointers in less than a minute in a thrilling 99-98 comeback victory.  Young’s 3-balls were crucial in the Clippers late surge, coming back from as many as 24 points down with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

Although only averaging about 16-19 minutes a game in the playoffs, Young scored a little over 8 points per game, while netting 17 of his 33 attempts from beyond the arc.

The question Sixers fans must ask themselves is which Young is going to take the court for the 7-6 when the season starts in October?

As long as he becomes a starter, I’m going with the Washington Wizards version of Nick Young.  Young has the typical shooting guards build.  He stands at 6’7”, weighs in at 210 pounds (both bigger numbers than Kobe Bryant btw) and it seemed as if in a starting role with the Wizards last year he really began to come into his own as a scorer.

I think that giving Young the whole off-season to adapt to the Sixers offensive and defensive schemes while learning from Coach  Collins and practicing with his new teammates will do wonders for him.

Obviously the man the Sixers are really hoping Young will be able to replace is Lou Williams.  Not only was Lou the Sixers most prolific scorer, but he was also one of the most tenured and vocal leaders on the team as well.

Lou averaged nearly 15 points and 3.5 assists a game off the bench for the Sixers last season while coming in second to James Harden for the NBA’s sixth man award.

Before landing Young, many of us here at Philadunkia expected the Sixers to go after restricted free-agent OJ Mayo in order to fill our hole at the 2-guard spot.  Nick Young is definitely a solid starting two-guard in the NBA, but he doesn’t have a resume quite like Mayo’s.  In his career Young has also never truly been relied upon as a “scorer” quite in the way Williams was for the Sixers or Mayo has been in Memphis.

Whether or not Young even ends up starting next season for the Sixers is still to be determined (Especially now with the acquisition of Dorrell Wright.).  With the playing time carousel Sixers players had to go through last season with Coach Collins, Young could very well end up coming off the bench in a Jodie Meeks end-of-the-season type role.

Actually while we’re on the subject of Meeks, Young’s PER last season was just slightly above that of the streaky Meeks.  Young’s PER was 12.9 while Meeks logged an 11.5 PER.

However, that stat for Meeks doesn’t put into consideration that Meeks truly maxed out his potential last year (whatever potential that was).  Where as Young thrived in a starting role with Washington, Meeks failed time and time again last season for the Sixers as a starter to the point where in the playoffs, he averaged a mere 7.8 minutes a game.

But, it’s not Meeks that Young has to worry about this off-season.  It’s Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, Dorrell Wright and even Andre Iguodala.  Knowing what Doug Collins’ lineup will look like on a nightly basis is like knowing what the Phillies bullpen is going to give you when they take the mound; you just don’t.

Turner had the starting role as the two-guard for the Sixers in the playoffs, and overall showed tremendous improvements from his rookie season.  It seems at this point that it’s more Turner’s spot to lose than anything.  Young isn’t exactly a star or veteran and I don’t expect the Sixers to treat him like one.  He’ll have to earn his starting role just like everybody else has had to do on the team.

It will be interesting to see how Doug Collins decides to use him, but I do believe that in order for Young to truly be successful (just like with Washington last season) that he must start.

Just like with any athlete in this city however, he must prove himself first.  And because the Sixers front office was wise with how they structured his contract, Young will have exactly one-year to make that happen.


 
 
 

7 Responses to “YOUNG GUN”

  1. matt.s.G
    11. July 2012 at 15:30

    Lou will is much better . Can’t.believe we did him dirty for an older, less- intelligent, less- talenlted player . After all the hard work he put in for.this city , he loves
    philly and played his heart out for us .
    The worst part about it is that lou’s contract with the hawks is rumored to only.be 2 years and for the mid level … Wow

  2. steve
    11. July 2012 at 15:56

    Nick young is a 4 inch taller version of jodie meeks. The other differences are Meeks is a better shooter, he turns it over less, is better on defense and Philly could of had him for less than half of what we paid Nick Young.

    PER was mentioned in the article. Young took 5.5 more shots per game in 2012 than Meeks and only has a 1.4 advantage in PER, that was not mentioned.

    Nick Young is a net negative. His .4 win shares in 2012 is evidence of that. Meeks had 4.1 win shares and he is 4 inches and 10lbs less than Kobe Bryant

  3. Gary
    11. July 2012 at 17:53

    I’m one of the people that loves that we got Young. Dude can straight light it up.

  4. Jeff
    11. July 2012 at 18:36

    Steve,

    What Jodie Meeks were you watching last season? His scoring average dipped by 2 points. His FG percentage and three-point percentage also fell considerably. He also disappeared on the offensive end for large portions of games. He couldn’t create his own shot which was why he never had the ball long enough to turn the ball over. And, although he was a pretty good defender, it’s not like the Sixers ever really relied upon him to lock all windows and doors in a big situation.

    When they did things like this would happen….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0-R3awD_0I

    You can’t say that Meeks is a better shooter than Young when they had identical three-point shooting percentages at .365 and very similar overall FG percentages. I’ll give it to Meeks that he’s a better defender, but in terms of turning the ball over…Young can actually create his own shot unlike Meeks, which is why Meeks only attempted 85 free-throws last year compared to Young’s 169. I’d take Young over Meeks in a heartbeat.

    Thanks for reading and commenting,
    Jeff

    As for Nick Young, you say Meeks is a better shooter and turns the ball over less? Both Young and Meeks had a three-point percentage of .365 last season.

  5. ken
    11. July 2012 at 19:54

    i just love ppl like steve and matt that talk about how bad this nick young signing was and defend lou and meeks but the facts are meeks made our team worse than better undersized couldnt defend and didnt hit open 3 pointers and thats what hes supposed to do you can talk about win shares all you want but a real sixers fan that watched the games would say that meeks sucks is a d league player and shouldnt be on the team next year. as far as lou he had just as many strengths as weaknesses but we are looking foreward to the next year fa class and want as much cap space as possible and if we can get a player of the same caliber for one year while lou wanted multiple years we will take the one year player

  6. Steve
    12. July 2012 at 21:46

    Jeff,

    I will rephrase “Meeks is a far more efficient player on both offense and defense than Nick Young.

    That is very evident when looking at 2 things. TS% and TOV%. Defensively, you have acknowledged that Meeks > Young

    Efficiency is important. Meeks crushes Nick Young in offensive efficiency.

    Philadelphia has nobody who can get to the rack as of July 12, 2012. They were 25th in 3pt attempts per game this past season. That was a function of Doug Collins offense. Nick Young isn’t going to be bombing 10 3pters a game, he will most likely play under 15 minutes a game, shoot the same 3’s per minute as Jodie Meeks did this season but do it less efficiently.

    Turnovers is the #1 reason the sixers were good last year. They didn’t turn it over. Meeks was very good at not turning it over, he was also the most efficient scorer on the team.

    There is a ton of value in efficiency.

    I’m not going to get anyone to change their mind who already has it made up. Nick Young is terrible. There is a reason he took his 3.7 million dollar qualifying offer this past season when it as by far his best “stat” season.

    Turner and Dorell Wright are both better than Nick Young. I wonder how you justify paying a guy 6 million a year who will likely play under 20 minutes per game of inefficient basketball? You can’t. Now factor in how cheaply Philly could of retained Jodie Meeks and the whole thing is inexcusable.

    Very funny putting a YouTube clip of Jodie Meeks against a Max Player at the end of the game, as your justification of something.

    Efficiency is king in the NBA. Everyone in Philadelphia is going to find that out the hard way in 2012-2013

  7. Steve
    12. July 2012 at 22:07

    Nick Young TS% .512, 1 Turnover every 20.8 minutes,
    Jodie MeeksTS% .551, 1 Turnover every 56.7 minutes

    Eyes deceive us, we as humans are subject to cognitime bias, accurate statistics are a much better way of evaluating things.

    For instance, Andre Iguodala has been one of the 20 most valuable NBA players since he signed his contract, Philly people will say “he is overpaid and overrated”. Every bit of stats prove that Iggy has one of the most dynamic skill sets in NBA history, couple that in play 94% of games at 37+ minutes per game and he has been underpaid all things considered so far in his massive contract

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