The Education of Nick Young

Jarrett CarterAnalyst IOctober 29, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 22:  Nick Young #1 of the Washington Wizards dunks against Vladimir Radmanovic #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter at the Staples Center January 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


There will come a time where the bright smile must be replaced with a scowl, when the carefree, Californian perspective will submit to championship coldness, and the reality of being a professional will truly set in.

That time is now for Nick Young, who caught a DNP in the Wizards impressive season opening victory over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night. No one doubts his physical talents or his intuitive scoring and play-making nature, but his basketball acumen leaves much to be desired.

And Flip Saunders ain’t havin’ it.

“He’s shown inconsistency,” Saunders said about [Nick] Young on Tuesday. “He hasn’t shown an ability to grasp everything we’re trying to do, the way we, or ideally how we want to play. If one guy is screwing up your offense or defense, the whole team looks bad. I talked to him about that [on Monday]. He has to become direction oriented in order to understand what those assignments are. And be able to follow out those assignments.”

History tells us that the Wizards will likely part ways with Young, and that he will blossom into a star somewhere else.

In this case, that may not be such a bad idea. There is a window of about two to four years where the Wiz can either solidify themselves as contenders or pretenders, and Nick Young was drafted to be a part of the core group of youth to hit his prime at the four-year mark.

But if he can’t learn plays and sets, or has something that obstructs his ability to do so, Young’s lesson may be best learned outside of the city.