NBA Free Agency 2012: 7 Reasons the Clippers Must Re-Sign Nick Young
It was a savvy move on L.A.'s part because for their troubles they got to acquire Nick Young basically for free. (In fact, they even got to get rid of Brian Cook as part of the deal!)
The transaction was a low risk/high reward proposition for the Clippers because Young's contract expiring at the end of the season meant that the Clips were not financially committed to him long-term.
That gave the Clippers three months to evaluate Young and decide whether they should bring him back for 2013 or not.
Here are seven reasons why they should.
The reason Young has an NBA career is that he can flat out score the basketball.
Though he did not showcase his individual scoring abilities much with the Clippers, Young has proven over the course of his career that he has the capability to get his own shot whenever he wants.
The knock on Young has always been that he takes unnecessarily difficult shots, but he has the confidence to hit them. Young showed much more restraint in a Clippers uniform, but L.A.'s second unit can actually use a dose of Young's individual aggressiveness to bolster its scoring output.
Young has averaged 18 points per 36 minutes over the course of his career, and he can bring instant offense off the Clipper bench.
A key characteristic that makes Young a great fit for the Clippers is his ability to knock down the three-point shot.
The Clippers offense relies heavily on the long ball, as they like to space the floor with shooters to allow Chris Paul to penetrate and make decisions. Last season, the Clippers were fifth in the NBA in both three-pointers made and attempted.
Young is a career 38 percent three-point shooter and his deadly outside shooting keyed L.A.'s great bench play this postseason.
In the playoffs, Young connected on 52 percent of his triples and memorably hit three treys in a one minute span in the Clippers' scintillating comeback against the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the opening round.
A shooter of Nick Young's caliber playing off of the best point guard in the world is a potent weapon for the Clippers to have in their arsenal.
The Clippers were woefully small in the backcourt last season and it hurt them on both ends of the floor.
L.A.'s shooting guards had a particularly hard time matching up with opposing 2s defensively.
While Nick Young doesn't exactly have the reputation of a defensive stopper, he does add some size to the equation. That means he can do a better job of challenging jumpers and doesn't get bulldozed in the paint.
Young did a good job checking Rudy Gay in the playoffs, and in his time with the Clippers was actually a very effective defensive player in isolation situations.
According to mysynergysports.com, Young only gave up 0.62 points per possession on isos, good for 34th in the entire league.
With six Clippers hitting unrestricted free agency this summer (seven if Mo Williams decides to opt out), there will be a ton of roster turnover for the Clips heading into 2013.
For the sake of cohesion and familiarity, the Clippers should try and bring some of those players back. Young's combination of skills and age—he just turned 27 on June 1—should make him a keeper for L.A. as they try and build a title contender.
Assuming Mo Williams stays a Clipper next season, L.A. will have over $59 million tied up in just eight players.
That means the Clips will practically be at the salary cap with at least four empty spots still on the roster.
Without the ability to splurge on a big free agent, signing a talented, yet, cost effective player like Young—who made $3.7 million last year—would be huge.
In his short time with the Clippers, Nick Young became a fan favorite at the Staples Center.
A native son of Los Angeles, Young went to high school in the Valley and played his college ball just down the street at USC.
His enthusiasm and momentum-shifting shot-making can ignite the crowd when the team needs it the most.
Come on, let's face it. The Clippers have to keep Nick Young for his swag!
Any time you can sign a guy who calls himself "Swaggy P" and is willing to wear frescoes for his post-game attire you have to do it, right?
(Photo courtesy of: ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES)