Can Nick Young Be Better Than Lou Williams for Philadelphia 76ers?

Roy Burton@thebslineContributor IJuly 19, 2012

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 29:  Nick Young #11 of the  Los Angeles Clippers celebrates after making a three point shot against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 29, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On the surface it seems as though replacing Lou Williams with Nick Young was nothing more than a lateral move for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Each is a high-volume scorer who has never met a shot that he didn't like. Neither one fills the box score in any category other than points.

And both players...leave much to be desired on the defensive end of the court.

Young, however, has a distinct advantage in the fact that he's 6'7"—a full six inches taller than the recently-departed Williams. Young's height will give the 76ers some much-needed flexibility in their rotations—flexibility that they've lacked for the past several years.

For example don't be surprised if 76ers head coach Doug Collins goes with a three-guard lineup at times that consists of Young, Evan Turner and swingman Andre Iguodala. All are at least 6'6", and the trio would present severe matchup problems for opposing teams.

Perhaps most importantly, Young is a marked upgrade over Williams from beyond the arc.

Young is a career 37.8-percent shooter from three-point range (compared to 33.7 percent for Williams) and will stretch the floor so that Turner, Iguodala and Jrue Holiday (among others) will have more space with which to attack the basket.

The 27-year-old Young has a far more consistent jump shot than both Williams and free-agent guard Jodie Meeks, who started 114 games for the 76ers over the past two seasons. Young's long-range abilities, coupled with his accuracy from mid range (he shot 44.6 percent between 16 and 23 feet last season), gives the Sixers one of the most versatile weapons that they've had at the shooting-guard position in recent memory.

It should be noted that Philadelphia will miss Williams' ability to run the offense: Young is the furthest thing from a point guard, and the team will need to find a veteran playmaker who can run the second unit.

That said, the fact that the ball was in Williams' hands a lot last year may have stunted the growth of some of the Sixers' talent—most notably, Evan Turner.

Williams led the team in points per game last season (14.9 PPG), but that was merely the byproduct of his being an overaggressive scorer who averaged more shots per minute than the rest of his teammates.

And while Young is more than talented enough to lead the Sixers in scoring this year, expect him to be more deferential on offense than Williams was.

While the Nick Young-Lou Williams debate will likely last well into the season, the real question is whether or not the Sixers will do everything within their power to use Young's talents effectively.