Earlier this month, free-agent shooting guard Nick Young signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. And while it seems as though Young will replace the recently-departed Lou Williams as the team's sixth man, Sixers head coach Doug Collins might want to consider putting Young in the starting lineup come opening night.
Third-year swingman Evan Turner is obviously the ideal choice to start next to Jrue Holiday in the 76ers' backcourt; but as it stands now, if Turner were to start at the 2, Philadelphia will have no one on the bench who can adequately run the offense.
So far, the reconstruction of the Sixers' roster this offseason has been puzzling at best and completely illogical at worst. And despite the questionable deals given to Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown, the team's main misstep has been its failure to address the point guard position.
Williams had his fair share of flaws, but the 6'1" combo guard—who led the team in scoring last year as a reserve—gave the Sixers another playmaker off of the bench. Now that he's in Atlanta, Philadelphia will be forced to sign a veteran point guard—one who won't nearly be as intimate with the principles of Collins' offense as Turner is.
Turner has already shown that he excels when initiating the offense, and the 6'7" guard would be the ideal playmaker for what could potentially be one of the best reserve units in the NBA.
"When he has the ball in his hands, he's a totally different player," Collins said, after Turner scored 26 points against the Boston Celtics on March 7. "Evan is a point guard. At the end of the day, he's a point guard."
The 76ers have already established the precedent of not starting those who many would consider to be the team's five best players. Jodie Meeks was a mainstay in the starting lineup for most of the past two seasons before Collins decided to start Turner at shooting guard last March.
Similarly, Thaddeus Young is the best forward on the team not named Andre Iguodala, yet it wouldn't be surprising to see Spencer Hawes at the starting power forward position once the season begins.
Nick Young's shot selection leaves much to be desired, but he is a bona fide scorer who shoots nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc for his career. As a starter, Young would essentially be a taller, more complete version of Meeks: A versatile, long-range threat whose mere presence will give Holiday and swingman Andre Iguodala more room to operate in the half-court set.
Believing that Young is "better" than Turner would be a fallacy. However, given the current composition of the team, it make sense for the Sixers to start Young alongside Holiday once the season kicks off in October.
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