Clippers Score at Deadline with Nick Young
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired former USC shooting guard Nick Young from the Washington Wizards at the deadline in a multi-team deal with the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers had been searching for a replacement for the injured Chauncey Billups who is out for the season with a torn Achilles’ heel. While the team wasn’t willing to give up any significant assets (Eric Bledsoe, a first-round pick, etc. ), sources had told HOOPSWORLD it was “imperative” the team make a deal to improve.
LA has struggled without Billups and while Young is a scorer (first, second and third) with a very different game than Chauncey, he’s a clear upgrade for a team stretch far too thin at the two.
For helping to facilitate the deal which sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Nuggets and Nene to the Wizards, the Clippers gave up just Brian Cook and a second-round pick Washington.
Given that Cook is at just $1.2 million and Young $3.7 million, it would appear the team used their Eric Gordon trade exception. A new exception would be generated for Cook that will be available to the Clippers for a full year.
Brian was out of the rotation, struggling to perform. The Clippers aren’t concerned about giving up a second-round pick. In present-day assets, LA gave up nothing to bring in Young who at 6’7″ gives the team some badly needed height at the position.
Young has averaged 16.6 points per game on 40.6% shooting for the Wizards (37.1% from three) but in fairness, Washington has been a mess this year at 9-32. Nick will have the opportunity to contribute on team with far more balance than the Wizards.
Because Young, as a restricted free agent, took Washington’s qualifying offer this past offseason, he had to green light the trade to the Clippers. LA will not have Nick’s Bird Rights. If he warrants a sizable long-term deal, the Clippers would have to offer their Mid-Level Exception.
The Clippers will have a number of offseason questions given the potential free agency of Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Young and Billups but the team currently has greater priorities and that’s improving their position in the West over the rest of the regular season.
LA is currently fourth in the West at 24-17, just two games back of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Memphis Grizzlies have the same record as well but currently the Clippers have the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The move for young is probably just icing on the cake for Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey who many expect to be the runaway vote for Executive of the Year.
The Clippers play the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Naturally Young won’t be available as deals aren’t final until physicals are passed.