Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young will decline his player option for the 2017-18 NBA season to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Will he join the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors?
Nick Young experienced up and downs in his four-year stint in Los Angeles. In his first season with the Lakers, he established an impressive performance, averaging 17.9 points on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc. This convinced the Lakers to give him a long-term deal.
Unfortunately, in the following years, Young struggled to make himself with the system of then-coach Byron Scott. To make things more complicated, “Swaggy P” had a dispute with D’Angelo Russell. Fortunately, last season, Young fixed his relationship with Russell and regained his touch under coach Luke Walton.
Nick Young bids farewell to the LA Lakers
According to ESPN, Nick Young will decline his $5.6 million player option to test the free agency market this summer. Young has not released any official statement regarding his decision. In April, “Swaggy P” joked that his decision will depend on who will the Lakers pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
If the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball, Young expressed his desire to leave. The 32-year-old shooting guard believes he and the Ball family can’t coexist in Los Angeles.
“If we get the top-three pick, we might have the Ball family come in here talking crazy,” Young said, smiling. “It’s kind of hard when you got a Ball family and a Swaggy P talking crazy. Kind of too much.”
As of now, Lonzo Ball is the top favorite to become the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. After trading D’Angelo Russell, some people believe that the Lakers are already locked on Ball. The Lakers traded Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and a first-round pick.
Nick Young to Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors
At 32, there is no doubt that Nick Young is already on the near end of his career. After declining his player option, Young must have realized that spending the remaining years of his career in a rebuilding team would not be practical. “Swaggy” plans to join a playoff team once free agency starts in July.
“I’ll be more of a vet here,” Young said. “But at my age, I don’t know if I kind of want to sit around and wait for another team to progress and grow. [I] kind of want to be on a playoff team and see what happens.”
With his performance last season, it will not be a surprise if the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors express interest in him this summer. Young would be a great addition to their second unit. However, with their limited cap space, both teams should convince him to sign a veteran minimum deal.