While the Los Angeles Lakers certainly have bigger fish to fry this offseason, re-signing Nick Young should still be on their to-do list.
The eccentric shooting guard opted out of his contract on Tuesday, but would consider returning to the Lakers “a dream come true.” That is, if Los Angeles is willing to pay him much more than the $1.2 million he would have gotten in 2014-15 had he not opted out.
With only three players – Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre – under center, they have plenty of cap space to work with during the upcoming NBA Free Agency period. They could ideally re-sign Young for a deal in the range of $4-$5 million, but might be forced to up those figures if another team sees him as a legitimate starter. It’s believed he could find himself a deal similar to the one Jeff Green got a few years ago with the Boston Celtics – about $9 million per year – but the Lakers should be able to bring him back for less than that.
While it might cost them a pretty penny, Young is worth keeping around.
Not only did Young become a fan favorite throughout the second half of the 2013-14 season, but he proved to be a valuable scorer and offensive sparkplug. His basketball IQ certainly isn’t the best and he does have a tendency to take unnecessary shots, but his ability to catch fire from the field and bring energy to the floor is definitely worth the price of admission. Plus, he keeps the crowd involved even when things aren’t going Los Angeles’ way.
On top of that, the Lakers need someone who can help keep Bryant fresh throughout the season. Especially considering his sudden proneness to injury, Bryant needs a reliable backup, and Young proved to be a capable fill-in last season.
The Lakers need Swaggy P to continue injecting some charisma and confidence into their lineup. Even if he makes his mark off the bench, Young is a player the Purple and Gold can’t afford to lose right now.