After heavy persuasion from Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, along with an impending run at his first championship, Nick Young signed with the Warriors in early July. His signing was met by expectation from the Warriors that he would add depth to their roster and provide a strong shooter off the bench.
Yet, after Golden State’s first preseason game, it is clear that Swaggy P still needs time to adjust to the winning culture of the Warriors. If he doesn’t, Marcus Thompson told Tolbert & Lund on Friday that Patrick McCaw will.
“They gave him [Nick Young] the most they can pay a free agent,” Thompson said. “They gave him the taxpayer mid-level, so it’s like, ‘damn Nick, you got to ball. How do you come to camp out of shape?’”
Reports from The Athletic on October 2 revealed that Young came to camp out of shape and it showed during the Warriors’ preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets.
Although he outshot all of the starters combined with just two three-pointers in 19 minutes, Young’s pace on the court appeared slow and unenthusiastic. Meanwhile, McCaw matched Young’s six points against the Nuggets with three field goals in 22 minutes.
“You see Steph, first preseason game, right? Running around like a maniac like, ‘why is Steph playing so hard?’. He’s bulky, in great shape, put on muscle. You see Draymond Green looking like he’s in great shape, running the floor. It’s that kind of stuff that’s like, ‘okay, these guys aren’t playing around here.’ I think it takes some time for people to learn that if you haven’t been in and that’s the benefit of having a winning franchise.”
Following his debut in 2007, Young played for the Washington Wizards (2007-2012), Los Angeles Clippers (2012), Philadelphia 76ers (2012-13) and Los Angeles Lakers (2013-2017). Of those teams, only two finished with winning records and Young has never seen a minute of playoff basketball.
Although McCaw might be nine seasons behind Young in terms of years in the NBA, he leads Swaggy P with his year of experience in Golden State’s system.
Originally a second-round selection by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2016 NBA Draft, McCaw was traded to the Warriors and debuted in last season. He made 71 appearances, including 20 starts, and averaged 15 minutes per game.
On a team known for their shooting prowess, McCaw only made 41 three-pointers with 106 field goals last season. Unlike Young, McCaw saw 181 minutes in 15 playoff games during Golden State’s championship run.
“I think there’s more there than [Young’s] reputation, but he’s got to learn how champions do things,” Thompson said. “I think you’re seeing the difference between how the Warriors get down and how other players in the league get down. So, they have to show him their way a little bit and if they’re patient it might work out. Also, if he’s not on board quickly, they got Patrick McCaw.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 5:26 for Thompson on Young.