Why Nick Young Is Perfect Replacement for Metta World Peace with LA Lakers

There's no replacing Metta World Peace.

Not because the NBA free-agent market is absent wing players who could replicate the 33-year-old ex-Ron Artest's production (12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 40.3 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from three in 33.7 minutes in 2012-13) when placed in the proper role. Surely, there are plenty for whom those numbers are anything but beyond reproach.

Rather, it's World Peace's personality that has no equal. Who else could cut through the constant drama surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers like he could? Who else could make you rewind the tape as many times to verify that a certain quote actually came out of his mouth like Metta so often did? Who else could fill a coffee table book with wacky quotes like his?

For the Lakers, there can be no Metta until next summer, at the earliest. Such is the price of using the amnesty clause to excise the contract of LA's favorite basketball clown. You can be sure, though, that management won't mind the $15 million in savings incurred upon his departure.

To their credit, the Lakers moved quickly to fill that World Peace-sized void with a player who, in many ways, is the most reasonable facsimile of Metta around: Nick Young. The LA native, who starred at USC after playing his high school ball at Reseda Cleveland, will join his hometown team on a one-year, $1.18 million, veteran's minimum pact, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. This will mark Young's fourth stop as a pro, after previously suiting up for the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Statistically speaking, Young measures up surprisingly well against Metta. Here's how they compare over the course of their respective careers on a per-36-minute basis:

  PPG RPG APG SPG TOPG FG% 3P% FT% Metta World Peace 15.1 5.1 3.1 2.0 2.1 .417 .342 .716 Nick Young 17.7 3.0 1.6 0.9 1.7 .427 ...

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