Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why the Sixers Should Re-Sign Swaggy P

Let's make this clear right off the bat. Nick Young is not a good defensive player. He occasionally loses focus for a possession of five. If the opposing team has a shooting guard that does more than stand around for corner threes, he's going to give up his fair share of points.

I could not care less.

The Sixers are not a great team. They're okay. They win a few games here and there. Next season isn't going to be overwhelmingly different unless the team makes a huge splash in free agency this offseason. So if the team isn't going to be good, I would hope that it is at least entertaining.

As I type this I am watching the Sixers get outplayed and outhuslted by the New York Knicks. I turned on the game about halfway through the second quarter and did a quick scan of the court. You know who I was looking for?

Swaggy P.

I saw the score and automatically chalked the game up as a loss. (Side note: if they come back and win this, won't I look silly tomorrow). But even when the team is losing, Nick Young always makes things interesting. You never know what is going to happen when the ball is in his hands, although you can safely assume that it won't be a pass, unless it's an insane behind-the-back no look pass that Michael Jordan couldn't have handled in his prime.

Young makes some of the most incredible baskets I've ever seen. Some of the shots he makes could be duplicated by, maybe, three other players in the league. Although, to be fair, some of the shots he takes couldn't be made by anybody, which is why he's only shooting 41% on the year.

But guess what? Young has never shot less than 40% over the course of a season in his entire career. For all the shots you can take at him for his shot selection, he has consistently provided offense for whatever team he's playing for.

Not to mention the fact that he is always a basket or two away from catching fire and scoring 10 straight points so fast you didn't even realize it happened.

Nick Young's confidence level rivals that of Kobe Bryant and probably exceeds that of LeBron, Durant and most other stars in the league. Because of this, you know that in the last few minutes of the game, when every shot counts, he isn't going to shy away from the ball. If Jrue Holiday is injured or totally covered on a final shot, who would you want to pull up from downtown when the team is down by three with four seconds left?

Evan Turner? No. Dorrell Wright? Not a chance. Spencer Hawes? Just stop.

The easy, and correct, answer to that question, is Swaggy P.

The final point I'd like to make is that he won't even cost that much money. Young's current contract pays him about $6 million per year. There is no reason Philadelphia couldn't re-sign him for the same amount, or even potentially a little less if you can sell him on the fact that he'll get consistent playing time on a team with no other serious threats from beyond-the-arc.

At the end of the day, the Sixers probably won't re-sign Young. No matter where he plays next season, though, those fans can count themselves in for a treat. Because if nothing else, Nick Young is one of the most entertaining players in the NBA, and entertainment is what it's all about.

-Sean Lerman

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