The Los Angeles Lakers waived crowd, town, and life favorite Metta World Peace on Thursday. Now he doesn’t quite get the same response in LA, and it’s not fair to say the Lakers directly signed him to replace Metta World Peace, even though the timing would certainly have you believe so; but the Lakers signed small forward Nick Young on Thursday as a de facto, cheaper replacement of Metta World Peace.
Young is returning to LA after playing the second half of the 2012 season with the Clippers, half of a college career at USC while Tim Floyd was at the helm, and growing up in Los Angeles. @NickSwagyPYoung attended Cleveland High School in Reseda before playing his games just off Figueroa.
The 7 year NBA vet played last season with the Sixers, played the second half of the previous year with the Clippers, and all of his preceding years were with the team that drafted him, the Washington Wizards.
The most encouraging part of the recent signing is that it is a one year deal, for the veteran’s minimum. To be up front, ever since Nick Young left USC for the NBA after his sophomore season, I have been unimpressed with his game. Despite being a dynamic athlete, and checking in at 6 foot 7, he lacks the assertiveness and the sense of the big picture to consistently be an impact player. In unison with the signing of Kaman, the Lakers are saying they’ll contend next year, and survive this year.
Young did average over 10 points per game last year, and shot about one 3-pointer fewer per game than his career average. That translated to better numbers overall, while Metta World Peace averaged over 14 points per game. Even giving up several steps o quickness, it’s not a believable argument to say Nick Young is better than Metta World Peace. Without Artest’s defense and intangibles, the Lakers should fall on more hard times. But it made so much financial sense to waive Artest.
Young is too content to shoot 3s, and his much improved D isn’t there yet. And besides the face he makes when celebrating a three point attempt, the only other look in Young’s repertoire is the eager yet somewhat confused look he has when he wants the ball but is awkwardly standing around the perimeter wondering why he doesn’t have it already.