Young’s presence was missed when he was out recently as he tended to a death in his family. All the losses the Sixers suffered during the stretch Young was out were close games proving he is a corner piece holding the team together.
His stats, 15.2 points, seven rebounds and 1.4 steals, are making him the second and third option on the team. Young’s 6-foot-9 frame makes it difficult for opponents to score on him and defend him. He also has an outside game, and he’s shooting a career-high 40-percent on three-pointers.
Young adds chemistry as he can start and also come off the bench as a sixth man. There are two seasons where he came entirely off the bench to post solid numbers and other times he’s the team’s best option as a starter.
He may be better suited off the bench next season, especially when small forward Andrew Wiggins becomes the top draft pick and LeBron James is a free agent next summer. Young will give the Sixers another significant player off the bench with much needed rebounding, defense and scoring.
The crux to Young’s game is free throws. He’s averaging under 70-percent the past two seasons from the charity stripe. This season’s percentage is up slightly at 61.5-percent compared to 57.4 last season, but the bad shooting must be fixed, particularly in close games.
Despite the bad shooting, many teams will lure Young when he’s a free agent in 2015, and the Sixers should make re-signing him a priority.
Young will also be a good fit next season. He’ll be a mentor to Wiggins, Jabari Parker or some other draft pick the Sixers choose to draft at small forward.