WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Nick Young #1 of the Washington Wizards drives around Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks at the Verizon Center on February 26, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
With the NBA season starting in a week, Nick Young has decided to sign the one-year, $3.7 million qualifying offer, according to Michael Lee. From the sounds of it, the market simply wasn't there for Young.
Young is coming off a career year with the Wizards, finishing as the team’s leading scorer at 17.4 points per game, but found a rushed free agent market that was unfavorable to players at his position. Most teams around the league anticipated the Wizards would match any offer for Young and few had the resources to give him a lucrative offer sheet.
That's enough of a resolution for one year, but it raises significant questions about Young's future with the Wizards. As I noted before, the qualifying offer historically has essentially meant a player's divorce from his team is simply delayed by one year. Ten players have signed the qualifying offer since 1999, and all 10 were not with the same team at the beginning of the next season. The qualifying offer is a last resort when the player doesn't get the long-term deal he desires from his current team, so it only makes sense that he would want to move on when he is a free agent again.
Perhaps the truncated year of free agency in 2011 changes that trend, but for Wizards fans hoping for Young to be here long term, this is not a good sign.