The Los Angeles Clippers had a very good season, and there is reason for optimism in the future. If the Clips can lock up Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for the long term, they will be attractive centerpieces for free agents that become available. During the season, the Clippers made a somewhat minor move that turned out to be a great deal for the Clippers. They brought in Nick Young, who became a key producer down the stretch. Now, Los Angeles should bring Nick back, and solidify a roster that has a lot of promise.
Big stars are important if you are going to be a contender, but if you are going to go deep into the playoffs, you need some depth on the bench. Young provides a level of that depth, as he can come off the bench and instantly look to score. Nick is arguably good enough to start, and in some cases he may be in the starting lineup. However, Young is the type of player that is great to have come off the bench because he can be a spark for the second unit.
What will be interesting is whether Young has ambitions to start in Los Angeles. If he wants to be in the starting lineup, he may look for another team that can give him assurances about playing a larger role. You could see the Clippers continue experimenting with the shooting guard position. If the Clips re-sign Chauncey Billups, he won't be back until January. Randy Foye is a solid shooter, but he can be streaky. In addition, there may be value in putting Eric Bledsoe at the point and letting Chris Paul play some shooting guard at times. How Young fits into that scheme remains to be seen.
The one knock on Young is that he is not always the best distributor. In other words, once he gets the ball, he is going to do everything he can to score and he isn't necessarily going to give the ball back. Depending on how the Clippers play Young, they may not need for him to be a distributor. Of course, this is all contingent on the Clippers actually signing Nick to a contract. Hopefully that gets done soon after the free agent period begins.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he waits patiently for the Sonics to return to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he roots for the Clippers to become a winning franchise, and perhaps even the most popular team in their own city. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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