As beloved a player as Nick Young is among the Los Angeles Lakers fans, his days in the purple and gold may be numbered. Young was signed to a two-year veteran’s minimum deal last summer, with a player option for the second year. The chances of him opting in to the second year of his contract seem slim at this point, as Young has played extremely well over the entirety of this season.
If Young were to hit the open market this summer, he will certainly have numerous suitors willing to offer him a fairly luxurious contract. There are plenty of teams out there that are in desperate need of a scoring boost off the bench and Swaggy P can do just that. He is averaging 17 points per game in 28 minutes per game, which ties his career high. Though it hasn’t shown up in the box score, Young has made an extended effort to improve his defense as well. Taking charges seem to have been a point of emphasis as he has taken a good amount over the course of the season. His on-ball defense has improved greatly over past seasons. As a result Young will be forced to decide on sticking with his personal favorite team in Los Angeles, or to take the money and run.
GM Mitch Kupchak has stated he desires to make a splash in 2015 free agency rather than 2014, so re-signing Young to a long-term, generous contract would be foolish. Allowing him to walk would be a difficult decision because of how great of a person he is, but in terms of making a business decision it may be in the Lakers’ best interest to do just that. On the contrary, if Young opts in to his final year of his contract, the Lakers could re-sign him in 2015 subsequent to seeing where they stand financially. Potential free agent include Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love, whom will both likely demand a max contract.
Of course, nothing is a done deal just yet. Depending on how the front office manages the finances, they may find a way to fit Nick Young into the budget. He will unquestionably have a spot on the roster if it shall present itself.