Nick Young is a shooter.
This is all Nick Young is, but apparently, one-dimension is still enough to convince the Los Angeles Lakers he is worth a short-term deal to fill a need at shooting guard, at least in a fill-in role when Kobe Bryant needs a breather.
Young is one of the most notoriously streaky shooters in the NBA and when he’s on, there are few that can fill it up faster. The problem is, he’s on rarely enough that his awful shot selection is more often seen as a liability than his Marshall Henderson-like willingness to launch at any time is seen as a benefit. Sometimes he even has JaVale McGee-like moments.
I mean, there was this:
Over the course of his seven-year career in the NBA spent with the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, Young has shot around 43% from the field (37.4 % from three), averaging 11.3 points per game but less than 2 in every other statistical category used as a metric to evaluate shooting guards. Young has only averaged 1.9 rebounds and one assist over his career, driving home the point that he is a shooter and only a shooter.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of room for specialists in the NBA. Just ask Matt Bonner. Regardless of this, however, is now the time for the Los Angeles Lakers to be adding specialists to the roster with the losses of both Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard? Don’t they need guys that are multi-dimensional, with the capability of bringing a variety of talents to the roster?
Maybe it’s simply a matter of beggars not being able to be choosers, and given how their off-season has gone so far, the Lakers are definitely beggars.
As would be expected, the Twitter reaction to the Lakers’ decision was swift and merciless:
Nick Young agrees to fly to the Dagobah system to complete his remorseless gunner training.
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 11, 2013
Nick Young is the extremely poor man’s version of Kobe, except with all of Kobe’s ego and his trigger finger
— Chris Keshishian (@ChrisKeshishian) July 11, 2013
Nick Young already spent his entire salary at RIF LA.
— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) July 11, 2013
In reality, Nick Young’s arrival to LaLa Land is somewhere between what you see above and lighting up the Staples Center from night to night. He’ll get the Lakers 10 points a game, take plenty of shots — many of which will cause people to shake their heads — and play zero defense.
In a free agent market that has already been tapped, and where the Lakers have limited resources, it’s low risk, low reward. If nothing else, “Swaggy P” will be fun to watch — whether on or off.