Maybe shooting guard Nick Young knows what he's doing. The more the Wizards struggle on offense -- see the 103-78 pre-season loss to Philadelphia last Friday night -- the more likely Young's cell phone will light up with Wizards' President Ernie Grunfeld on the other line asking him to play for more years and more money.
As one league source told me after the Sixers loss, the Wizards desperately need a scorer. And that would in all likelihood be Young, who spent the first four years of his career in D.C., averaging a career high 17 points a game last season. Young is a restricted free agent so he is waiting for the best possible offer. He has a one-year qualifying offer from the Wizards that would pay him 3.7 million.
Young thinks he can get more than that and, while no other NBA team has offered him a contract, which the Wizards have the right to match, Young simply by not playing could be helping his stock grow specifically with the Wizards. Funny how that works.
Young's replacement, Jordan Crawford, struggled in the pre-season opener against the Sixers, scoring just 6 points on 3 of 10 shooting. In his defense, the whole team shot poorly so it was an off-night for everybody.
But that is where Young can pop in and say here is why you need me.. When everybody else is struggling, Young has the knack to score and get energy flowing for the rest of the team. Also, the Wizards were a woeful, 3 of 15 from three-point range versus Philadelphia. This is another element Young can provide. Last season, he shot 38 percent from beyond the arc, making 105 3-pointers.
Now it is just one game, but let's see how the Wizards fare in the second pre-season game Tuesday night at Philadelphia. Nick Young's value may continue to grow if there is another offensive display like the one the Wizards put on against the Sixers the first time around.