Nick Young Facing Final Chance to Stay Home with Los Angeles Lakers

One year ago, Nick Young was coming off a career-best season and about to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on a lucrative new deal. But now, he’s merely an afterthought—a veteran vagabond on a team that’s all about the future.

Heading toward his ninth NBA season, the 30-year-old is hoping to find his way again in L.A.

The four-year, $21.5 million deal Young signed last July was in part a reward for being the team’s leading scorer, and off the bench no less. It was also an endorsement for better things to come.

“Nick was a bright spot for us last season, and we are happy to retain such a skilled player who is committed to being a part of what we are building as a franchise,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said at the time, per

After all, the effervescent scorer had been about the only good thing in a dismal Lakers season under then-coach Mike D’Antoni. Young had returned to his hometown of Los Angeles the prior summer on a minimum-salary deal—a live-and-let-fly journeyman who had jacked the ball up without remorse, every step of the way.

Swaggy P was perfectly suited for D’Antoni’s free-flowing system. But the coach had already exited stage left by the time Young received his new contract.

There was about to be a new sheriff in town, and life would change dramatically for Young.

The Lakers have shown little consistency in the hiring of head coaches in recent years. The sage Phil Jackson, with all his championship rings, was replaced by Mike Brown—a gregarious bundle of energy who drilled down on defensive details but lacked creativity on the other end of the floor. Brown’s replacement was D’Antoni, who has always cared about one thing only—getting more points faster.

And then came Scott—poles apart from his predecessor and unyielding in his convict...

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