Contract: $1,352,181 ('13-'14)
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 5
Previous Teams: Washington, L.A. Clippers, Philadelphia
Acquired: Free Agent '13
Young's offensive legend has largely been due to his ability to create a ton of mid-range shots while minimizing turnovers, with long mid-range J's (6th out of 62 SGs) and short mid-range J's (14th) being his primary zones. He's had usage rates as high as 6th-13th among SGs, and this past season he was 4th best in turnover rate. Historically, Young has a history of hitting mid-range J's well, even off the dribble, although his track record for hitting short mid-range J's is more spotty. In fact, since his first two seasons, Young hasn't been able to shoot BOTH short and long mid-range shots at a good rate: for example, the three seasons prior to Philly he shot long mid-rangers well, but shot short mid-rangers at a poor to awful rate, then at Philly he shot short mid-rangers very well, but long mid-range J's quite poorly.
However, even though mid-range binging is one of the worst attributes an offensive player can possibly have, there's a lot of subtle aspects about Young that enhance his offensive profile significantly. Careerwise, while he's never ventured much within 10 feet of the rim (52nd of 62 SGs at-rim, 54th in runners), he has some ability to get to the line considering how little he slashes (44th), and he's also surprisingly springy, dunking on 19.4% of his attempts when he sees the rim, so he has definite athletic qualities to his offensive game. In addition, his offensive game still has potential for growth: having done them in separate seasons, there's a chance he could shoot well on short and long mid-range J's simultaneously in a single season, and another subtle development is that Young has started shifting some of his long two's in favor of threes over the past 1.5 years. As of late he's only been average to slightly above average here, but again, the key word is growth: Young had two seasons shooting above 40% from deep early in his career, and his free throw shooting has always been around 80-86% in the league, so again, there's potential. And there's also increased acceptance of the team concept: Young had ranked in 61st out of 62nd SGs in assist rate in the three years before Philly. But, in Philly, there were a lot of signs he adjusted to being a role player: he a career high assist rate (51st), cut down his usage to relative role player levels, and took a lot more spot up shots, while seeing similar success.
So Young's offense has a lot of positive attributes through the cracks. The problem throughout his five years in the league is that the "idea" of Young's offense has always been far better than the execution of that idea, and he's already 28, so one wonders if that will change. To be fair though, he never had any good scoring SGs to emulate in Washington or his brief stints with the Clippers and Sixers, so perhaps Kobe can help him there. As a jumpshooter who really loves the mid-range shot, it's instructive that Young shoots extremely well at both mid range zones to remain efficient, and also shoot well from three, but as mentioned, Young's three point shot slipped a bit recently and his mid-range zone effectiveness is always up and down. This leads to very inconsistent scoring, and explains why his efficiency has always been somewhat subpar. Young has a stigma around the league, dating back to his Washington days, as a tunnel vision high usage mid-range gunner with little scoring efficiency, and that is why despite gaudy scoring stats he never truly got much interest in the open market.
On defense, believe it or not, Young excelled in forcing bricks this year--he was second in Philadelphia in guarding players, and one wonders if Doug Collins' defensive ways really rubbed off on him. In addition, over the past one and a half seasons he's shown an ability to draw charges, ranking 12th out of 62 SGs in both cases. For whatever reason he's been perceived as a defensive liability, likely because he's stayed too long at defensively-awful Washington, but his man defense and team defense have looked quite average in the past. Certainly, though, Young's defensive rebounding ranges from poor to downright awful, and his ability to create deflections is poor. He's not a full-fledged defensive player due to those limitations, but he's improved majorly this past season on defense, and his ability to contest shots and draw charges can prove useful.
Overall, on offense, while Young will never be a passer, he has better adjusted to a role player, and he still carries the allure of being able to create offense by being a deceptively athletic mid-range shooter and occasional three point shooter. While he's a somewhat inefficient scorer, both have greater accuracy potential, and he limits turnovers. On defense, he'll never be a rebounder or deflection type, but he has made inroads with the "steak" defense--forcing missed shots--and also drawing charges. Overall, despite an inability to stuff "hard" stats--rebounds, assists, and steals--he has some two-way potential due to all the subliminal features to his game, and that has gave him greater staying power in terms of getting minutes on the court. Of note is that Young isn't injury prone, but he's not an iron man either, having missed roughly fourteen games over the past three seasons, on average. Overall, it's hard to believe the Lakers received a relative two-way player still in his prime, and only 1-2 years removed from averaging 16.6 and 17.2 points a game, AT the minimum. This looks to be a steal.
Last edited by rydjorker121
on Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:11 am, edited 2 times in total.