After the lockout, there was a lot of speculation about Nick Young and where he would land in the NBA as a free agent. Many members of the DC media were pleading for Washington to not overpay just to keep Young due to his inconsistency.
I was not one of them.
I’ve come to find that I’m in the minority of the people who believe that Young is our second greatest asset on this team (behind John Wall). Many people cringe when they see Young take some very questionable shots. Many people shake their head when he’s hot one game, and cold in another. Many people hate the fact that his only real value on the box score is for points.
But for the team, Young provides a burst of energy and instant production. If we get rid of him whether it is at the trade deadline of the off-season, it’s going to hurt our offense in the near future.
Before you stop reading, let me offer my rebuttal to the concerns about Young’s play.
Nick has a tendency to take some very difficult shots that, nine times out of ten, would be a better pass. I’ve come to be okay with this fact because, unlike other players on the team who take over-complicated shots, Young actually makes them more than he misses them. Over the years, he’s come to develop a couple of moves to get around defenders to at least make these difficult shots wide-open.
Nick’s inconsistent. His shot is not always on, as we’ve seen twice this season. The beautiful thing about basketball, however, is that it is a team sport. If Young isn’t feeling the shot, someone else on the team likely is. Nick is more often hot than he is cold, and with inconsistency being a factor with a lot of players in the league, I don’t see why Young gets scrutinized so much for this.
Nick’s not a big stat guy. He finds ways to make his own shot. But is it really “selfish” if you’re producing points, sending games into overtime, and creating an offensive tempo? The last time I checked, we have other players to be play-makers on this team. So the fact that Young is really only a scorer on this team just does not bother me. Somebody has to do it.
Young’s points-per-game average has steadily increased since his rookie signing, leading to a season-high 17.4 points per game last season. If the Wizards don’t re-sign Nick Young after the end of the season, they are going to be a team that is going to be hurting for offensive production.
And with a team ranked 29th in the NBA in points per game, can we really afford to get rid of our team’s highest scorer?