Nick Young Will Play Major Role Upon Return to Los Angeles Lakers

With their embryonic season in a tailspin, the Los Angeles Lakers need Nick Young back on the floor in a major way.

The effervescent "Swaggy P" has been out of commission since tearing a thumb ligament during training camp. Meanwhile, his small forward compatriots—Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry—are offering only token production with the Lakers stumbling out to 1-7 start and an apparent date with oblivion.

The Purple and Gold are getting nothing out of the small forward position—it’s time for some high-scoring swag!

A ray of light may be appearing at the end of the Lakers’ current dark tunnel. The 29-year-old swingman wasn’t expected to return from surgery until early December. As it turns out, Young could be back as early as Nov. 18 for the start of a three-game road trip, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:

It’s not that the Lakers have no other offensive weapons—Kobe Bryant is currently the league’s leading scorer at 27.5 points per game.

Meanwhile, his teammates are doing a splendid job of watching how a 36-year-old makes that happen.

Young won’t be among the wallflowers once he returns—he embraces the spotlight and pure love of scoring to an irrational extreme. He’ll chuck it up from anywhere at any time, and last season, he feasted on a steady green light from Mike D’Antoni and wound up as the team’s leading scorer despite coming off the bench.

That accomplishment earned Young a new four-year deal worth $21.5 million—it was a nice bump up from the league-minimum salary he earned last year. It also provided an opportunity for the former pride of Reseda’s Cleveland High, and USC, to further his career in his native Los Angeles alongside a superstar whom he idolized growing up, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

The original plan for the...

About the Author