With the list of possible suitors who combine legitimate cap space and a serious need for one-dimensional scoring starters all but dried up, it appears Nick Young’s unofficial holdout has ended. Phew.
Among other available shooting guards, Rodney Stuckey agreed to sign a three-year deal with Detroit worth $25 million; Marcus Thornton signed with Sacramento for four years and $33 million; and Jason Richardson agreed to a four-year deal worth $25 million to stay in Orlando. But veterans Jamal Crawford and Richard Hamilton both agreed to short-term deals that will pay them $5 million this season. Denver restricted free agent guard Arron Afflalo remains unsigned.
While all those contracts are for multiple years—and there’s a very strong chance Afflalo’s falls in line—Young and his one-year deal become an anomaly. The move all but promises that this will in fact be his last season in Washington. The two sides tried desperately over the last few weeks to hammer out a long term pact that would keep Young in line with the team’s rebuilding plan, but what this shorter-than-expected financial truce signifies, is that Washington’s upper management doesn’t see things that way. At the price he’s asking (rumored in the $9 million per year range) it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the Wizards chose not to lock him down, but the uncertainty of replacing that side-kick, 20 a night scoring creates an important hole that they don’t seem prepared to fill. Letting Young go is fine, but if they do, they better have a proper backup plan.