Philadelphia 76ers: 5 Reasons Why Signing Nick Young Helps Immensely
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Nick Young has signed a one-year contract in the $6 million range, according to the Associated Press (via Yahoo! Sports).
At the same time, he has never shot below 35.3% from three-point range, and had two seasons where he shot at or over 40% from three-point range.
Listed at 6'7'', 210 pounds and with the ability to play both shooting guard and small forward, Nick Young is perfect to replace the undersized and limited Jodie Meeks, who is only 6' 4'' and couldn't keep his starting job under wraps for an entire season.
While he had some immaturity issues in the past due to a toxic locker room situation in Washington, Young showed his ability to make clutch shots against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Clippers' first-round series victory.
Despite some great moves that added young pieces to the 76ers' roster this offseason, Philadelphia looks like the fourth-best team in the Atlantic Division right now.
That being said, here are five reasons how the addition of Nick Young can still make the Philadelphia 76ers immensely better next season.
No. 1: Allows Evan Turner to Return to the Bench
Evan Turner can now play Lou Williams' old role.
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Both Young and Turner are shooting guards, though Young has much more of a shooting touch.
Although Evan Turner is not the player that James Harden is, he can play a similar role for the 76ers in being a sixth-man off the bench, as his presence on the floor with Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday causes there to be too many ball-handlers on the floor.
Plus, Turner, who is listed at 6' 7'', 207 pounds, can play and defend multiple positions on the floor. This helps Philadelphia do what it does best: Create matchup issues for almost every team in the NBA.
Paired with two other young swingmen on the bench, in veteran combo forward Thaddeus Young (who is only 24) and rookie Moe Harkless, Turner becomes the centerpiece of an extremely versatile and deep bench.
No. 2: Philly Lets Lou Williams Go
This will be the last embrace of Andre Igoudala Lou Williams will give in a 76ers uniform.
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Lou Williams has announced via Twitter that he will not be returning to the 76ers next season.
Philly, I appreciate you all. Unfortunately I will not be coming back, as an organization they decided to move in a different direction.— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 6, 2012
Even though he finished second in NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting, and was the first bench player to lead his team in scoring since Dell Curry, Philadelphia is better off without Lou Williams next year.
Listed at 6'1'', 175 pounds, Williams' lack of size as a combo guard makes him a defensive liability, while his little-to-no point guard skills give him too much power in what happens with the offense when he is on the floor.
Plus, with Evan Turner now possibly becoming the sixth man, the 76ers can put him at either shooting guard or small forward while letting Jrue Holiday or the backup point guard be the one who brings the ball up the court, and at the same time not be a defensive liability.
Plus, the money saved with Williams not coming back gives Philadelphia the opportunity to go after potentially available free agent point guards like Jordan Farmar (assuming he is bought out by Atlanta), C.J. Watson, Raymond Felton, Kirk Hinrich, Jonny Flynn and Randy Foye.
Though Williams was a hard-nosed and gutsy second-round steal, he has reached his potential with Philly, and the 76ers made a smart decision to go in a new direction.
No. 3: Opens Up the Floor for Iguodala and Holiday
Andre Igoudala and Jrue Holiday will have more room to operate within the 76ers offense next season.
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This tweet by TNT NBA Analyst David Aldridge indicates the type of impact that Nick Young will have on the Philadelphia 76ers next season:
Don't think for one second that Doug Collins wasn't behind this move. He knew how desperate Sixers were for perimeter shooting/scoring.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 6, 2012
Philadelphia can still have the great bench it had the past two seasons, but now their starting lineup is a little more balanced and versatile in terms of how it can score and defend.
With Young listed at 6'7'' with long arms, and Iguodala listed at 6'6'' with long arms as well, the two of them can match up with whichever wing players they deem they can work best against.
Plus, it opens up opportunities for Thaddeus Young and Moe Harkless to play some power forward, and Lavoy Allen to play some center.
Philadelphia has arguably the most versatile roster in basketball with this move, and can make more moves with these pieces to make the best team possible.
No. 4: Nick Young Is on a Prove-It Contract
Nick Young should be excited about the opportunity to prove his talent.
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Nick Young has showed a lot of potential in his five-year NBA career, but there hasn't been a lot of substance to it yet.
With a likely starting job and one year to prove himself, however, Young could vault himself into a potential eight-figures-a-year contract next offseason due to teams saving up for the 2013 free agency period of Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Josh Smith and Andrew Bynum.
If Young can help the 76ers be a surprise contender in the Eastern Conference next year, which is certainly possible considering their youth, depth and athleticism, many GMs will see a young scorer entering his prime.
If he absolutely blows it, then Philadelphia can let him go in the offseason while trying to make themselves possible players in the free-agent pool of 2013.
Either way, the 76ers get a great deal.
No. 5: Makes Philly Two-Deep at Every Position but One
Arnett Moultrie (#23) will not be forced into a large role as a rookie.
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Even though the Philadelphia 76ers spent two first-rounders on Moe Harkless and Arnett Moultrie over a week ago, don't expect them to be great contributors early on.
In fact, with Nick Young's addition today, Moultrie can either be the third-string power forward or center, while Harkless will probably be Andre Iguodala's back-up.
This is how the current depth chart looks for the 76ers, including the versatility each player brings:
PG: Jrue Holiday
Holiday's 6' 4'' height and shooting ability allows him to play shooting guard in a line-up with another point guard on the floor.
SG: Nick Young, Evan Turner
Both Young and Turner can and have played small forward.
SF: Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless
Iguodala can play at shooting guard in big lineups, and can play as a stretch four in an up-tempo lineup. Harkless played a lot of power forward and center in his freshman season at St. Johns.
PF: Lavoy Allen, Thaddeus Young, Arnett Moultrie
Allen played center against Kevin Garnett, Young can play and backup Iguodala at small forward and Moultrie, who is listed at 6'11'', 230 pounds, can play at both power forward and center.
C: Spencer Hawes, Nikola Vucevic
Both Hawes and Vucevic are skilled seven-footers with range, and can be great pick-and-roll options for Jrue Holiday. Vucevic can play power forward in a bigger lineup.
With possibly $10 million available in cap space before signing rookies, don't be surprised if a veteran point guard joins this team to make Holiday's entire skill-set be put on full display.
Head coach Doug Collins will have more fun drawing up lineups and sets for his team than any other NBA coach next season besides Miami's Erik Spoelstra.