Chicago Bulls Must Sign Nick Young to Be the Starting Shooting Guard
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With the Chicago Tribune reporting that the Chicago Bulls are unlikely to pick up team options for C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, Chicago must go out and sign Los Angeles Clippers' free-agent shooting guard Nick Young as Chicago's starting shooting guard of the future.
Young just finished his fifth year in the league. He averaged 17.4 points per game in 2010-11 and 16.6 points per game in 2011-12 as a starter for the Washington Wizards. His scoring dipped to 9.7 points last year during his 22-game stay with the Clippers after being traded from Washington, but he served as primarily a backup for Los Angeles.
If Chicago does indeed forgo picking up Brewer and Korver's options, the Bulls will be in need of depth at the the shooting guard spot. Richard Hamilton will be penciled in as the starter next year, however, he only has one year left on his contract after next season, which is actually a team option.
Young could start the season coming off the bench or could play alongside Hamilton at either shooting guard or small forward if Luol Deng misses time due to wrist surgery. Young would also serve as the heir to Hamilton as the starting shooting guard and could be the reason the Bulls decline Hamilton's 2013-14 team option if he plays up to his potential during his first year with the team.
Nick Young's scoring ability is something Chicago has been chasing for the past couple years. His size (6'7") and ability to create his own shot would make him a perfect backcourt partner with Derrick Rose. His score-first mentality can take offensive pressure off Rose, not to mention the fact that he's also a career 38 percent shooter from behind the arc.
This biggest downside to signing Young would be his perceived lack of defensive ability. However, I think he would mature into an average to above-average defender under Coach Thib's defensive system (see Korver's improvement in team defense over the past two years).
Moreover, Young showed improved defense over the final 22 games of last season following his trade to a Clipper team that put more emphasis on defense than the young and disorganized Wizards.
Young will be 27 years old next season and is in the prime of his career. He would add needed life to an otherwise bogged down Chicago offense and could be the the missing piece of the championship puzzle. Think of him as the potential Robin to Rose's Batman.
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