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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Report cards: Young

By Pedro Moura

Here is the ninth player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and then Chauncey BillupsKenyon MartinReggie Evans and Eric Bledsoe. Now, we do the last of the bench players: Nick Young.

2011-2012 contributions: Young did not play well in his first few weeks with the Clippers this year, once he was acquired for next-to-nothing at the trade deadline. Then he began to bounce back in April and peaked with a 19-point performance in an end-of-year win over Oklahoma City. He then matched that output in Game 1 of the first-round series against Memphis and hit several other big shots in the 10 remaining playoff games -- while memorably dealing with significant pain from impacted wisdom teeth that he has since had removed. Young still shot better than 50 percent from the field in only two of the 22 regular-season games he played for the Clips.

2012-2013 prediction: Young is probably the most likely Clipper free agent to be brought back next season, partially because he played well toward the end of his brief tenure last season and partially because he actually fits their long-term needs fairly well. But his contract demands are an unknown, and he's proven to be a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to free agency. Few could have predicted a year ago that Young would end up re-signing with Washington after the lockout for just one year and $3.5 million, but that's exactly what he did. If he does come back to the Clippers, he probably steps into a starting role alongside Chris Paul in the backcourt -- because if the Clips are paying him enough to return, then they're not going to be able to bring in much else at his spot.

Grade: C+