Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers — one-year, $6 million
Other than Charlotte, Philadelphia relied the most on the highly inefficient middle ground between the rim and 3-point line. They attempted 24.5 shots from 16-23 feet per game which equated to 29.4% of their total attempts. Their uneven distributions of shots — it should be noted that the Sixers were the eighth most proficient 3-point shooting team yet 3-poiters only made up a measly 17.5% of their shots — led to an below-average offense predicated on bad shots.
Adding Young to the fold will not improve their shot selection — in all actuality, Young will probably jack up more bad shots. If you think Philadelphia relied too much on their mid-range game, Young took 41.7% of his shots from 10-23 feet. Young is an athletic 2-guard with length and can create against the majority of his defenders. Yet he exhibits a maddening tendency to settle for shots instead of taking the best available shot.
He’s also an abominable rebounder given his size. Among guards that logged at least 700 minutes last season, Young’s 4.4 total rebounding percentage was bested by all but 12 players. That rebounding proficiency tied D.J. Augustin, who measured at a measly 6’0″. His rebounding problems doesn’t stem from his inability rather from his unwillingness to rebound.
This move won’t hamper Philadelphia’s future plans. That’s the nature of a one-year deal. But I can’t say $6 million is worth it for Young, who’ll be asked to appropriate Lou Williams’ role as a scorer. He can do that just fine. Asking anything more from Young is just too much to ask for and that’s not a good thing.
Ray Allen, Miami Heat — three-years, ~$9 million (mini midlevel exception)
Allen’s 3-point shooting will provide Miami’s eighth-ranked offense with another valuable weapon to defend — in addition to the unstoppable force that is LeBron James. Allen’s shooting, remarkably, hasn’t deteriorated with age; it’s actually improved. His 45.3% mark from behind the arc bested his previous career-high which was set during the 2010-11 season.
But you didn’t need to read that statistic to realize how good of a shooter Allen is. He’s been shooting well for as long as we can remember and will continue to do so until the day he retires. That is as close as a certainty in basketball as you will get. Ray Allen will shoot a lot and Ray Allen will score.
What makes his addition especially promising is his ability to shoot off screens away from the ball. Miami barely utilized this tactic to free up shooters, opting to put the ball in LeBron’s hands (certainly a smart decision). The threat of Allen running around screens is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. He demands attention at all times; attention that the defense can’t afford to give when there are more pertinent options.
Allen used up more than a third of his possessions off screens away from the ball, scoring 1.05 points per possession. As you would expect, he’s also successful in spot-up situations. When you combined his possessions off screens and spot-ups, representing 55.3% of his usage, he scored at a highly efficient 1.11 PPP.
Adding a guy that can net you more than one point per possession, and one who doesn’t need the ball, is a nice addition to any offense. (Not that Miami needed any extra help anyway.)
Other free agency tidbits
– The Rockets are now open to a sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby. Could the Spurs put together an appealing package for Camby?
– The Nets are the frontrunners for Derek Fisher.
– Kobe Bryant on Dwight Howard: “I want what’s best for him. I want him to do what he feels is best for him, what’s going to make him happy.”
– After missing out on Steve Nash, Deron Williams and presumably Dwight Howard, Dallas has set their sights on Ramon Sessions and Elton Brand.