What's the price of Young love?

What's the price of Young love?
November 29, 2011, 5:50 pm
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The Wizards would love to have veteran shooting guard Nick Young back this season to be a part of their core rebuilding group -- but can they afford him?

The only thing that stands in the Wizards' way of keeping Young is if another team offers the restricted free agent a boatload of money and then the Wizards would have to decide if that is worth matching.

After the 6-foot-7 Young put up a career-best 17.4 points and at times showed he is one of the streakiest offensive shooters in the league, his services are certainly in demand.

With Gilbert Arenas and his propensity to shoot a lot finally out of town, Young stepped into the starting role last season and flourished as a shooting guard, increasing his scoring average by nine points from the previous year.

Young scored a career-high 43 points in a January win over Sacramento and scored over 30 points five times.

It's clear Young can score, but what might make other NBA teams shy away from offering him a deal is that he really can only score and does little else on the floor. Young's defense is decent, but his rebounding and passing ability are spotty at best and he rarely dents the box score with anything else besides points.

Then again, Young's ability to do that one thing of scoring the ball very well is attractive because teams that have that shooting need will know exactly what they are getting in him.

Teams like Chicago, Utah, Sacramento and Indiana that desire a 2-guard could definitely be in the running for Young.

So what could Young command in the free agent market? According to one league source, a four-year 20 million offer would be likely.

When the shortened free agency period begins December 9 and another team does offer Young a deal, the Wizards would likely have just three days to decide to match the offer or let him go.

This is where Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and his staff will make the call. Do they feel that Young is worth keeping? That will certainly depend on the amount offered.

As another league source asked me, if the Wizards do let Young go, where are they going to get their scoring?

Well, the Wizards could turn to Jordan Crawford, who picked up the slack when Young was injured for the last several games of the past season. Crawford stepped in and averaged 19 points a game in Young's starting spot.

If the Wizards keep Young, they could also go small at times with Young moving to the 3 with Crawford playing the 2 and John Wall at point guard.

The Wizards would like to keep Young around for the upcoming season. They hope the price will be right.