It’s been a rough year for the Philadelphia 76ers. The trade which brought them Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson has been a dud. Richardson is out for the season with an injury and Bynum hasn’t pulled a Sixers uniform over his head yet. To add insult to injury, Nikola Vucevic who went to the Orlando Magic in that ill-fated trade is now seen as their center of the future averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per game. All the Sixers moves in the off season seemed to have backfired including the free agent signing of Nick Young. As we arrive closer to the All-Star break one thing is for certain, Young has to take his talents elsewhere.
Young’s so called talents are undeniable. He can shoot and he can score. He can put up a shot in a crowded phone booth and has no conscience. That, unfortunately, is all he can do. He can’t play defense and routinely gets beat no matter what position he is guarding. He doesn’t share the ball and really doesn’t care to crash the boards. If he doesn’t score he doesn’t contribute to the team in anyway.
The writing was on the wall straight out of high school where he was the center of attention in the ESPN documentary “Second Chance Season.” It was supposed to show how his life was affected by the murder of his older brother but it became a show about his selfishness and his recruitment to the NCAA and the University of Southern California.
He is already on his third team at 27-years-old. By this time in their NBA careers players have adapted and learned new tools of the trade. Young is the same gunslinger he was when he was drafted by the Washington Wizards. By gunslinger I am not talking about the whole Gilbert Arenas locker room incident as that is for another column. He had his best games with the Los Angeles Clippers where all he had to do was come in and score but they didn’t want to resign him. So now he is toiling with the Sixers.
His best fit is coming off the bench for a playoff contender as he did in a half season with the Clippers. He won’t have to play defense or pass the ball. It will make the game simple for him. He already makes over $5 million a year and as a consistent bench scorer he might be able to get a long term contract and be set for the rest of his career. He should look at Jamal Crawford and Antawn Jamison as his benchmarks.
The Sixers should cash in on Young when they can. Their season is slowly grinding to a halt and it’s about time to stock pile something anything for next season. If I was Young, I wouldn’t be making any permanent plans in the city of brotherly love.
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