Nick Young is currently a member of the Lakers. And, if you listen to Young tell it, he would like to continue to be a Laker. This, on a lot of levels, makes sense. Young is from Los Angeles. He went to school at USC. After signing a one year deal with the team as a free agent back in 2013, he had one of his best statistical seasons under Mike D’Antoni and promptly signed on for 4 more years while making it pretty clear he loved playing for the franchise.
Of course, that first season was Young’s high-point with team. His play on the court has steadily declined and last year he also had a very private matter turn public in a way which jeopardized the locker room and his relationship with D’Angelo Russell. Regardless of how you view that situation or who you blame, its impact is still being felt. And, ultimately, that means it is likely time to move on.
Again, though, Young seems open to a return. He told Mark Medina of the LA Daily News that he “can’t be mad forever” and, as Medina explains, is ready to give it a go:
Young indirectly outlined reasons for the Lakers to consider giving him another chance. He reported devoting plenty of his offseason toward improving his strength and conditioning. After clashing the past two seasons with then-Lakers coach Byron Scott about his public criticisms and role, Young sounded thrilled about Luke Walton’s subsequent hiring.
“It’s a breath of fresh air for me,” Young said of Walton, who spent the past two seasons as a Golden State Warriors assistant. “Luke is a big-time coach and came from a championship team. I think I have the tools that we can use as a shooter.”
In a vacuum, that’s all fine. Of course, this situation doesn’t exist within a vacuum. Young has played poorly. There are circumstances which contributed to that, but when you tack on his fit within a locker room which is young and ready to move on without his (potentially negative) influence and, well, it’s clear which way the scales are tipping.
This moves us to how to extricate him from the team. It really comes down to two options: trade or waive.
I think we can rule out a trade. Based on reports, the team has been trying to move him for over a year and they have not been able to do so. Young’s cap number may not be terrible, but the fact that he has two years left on his deal with the second year being a player option isn’t a positive. Add to this his reputation — which is, at best a mostly harmless knucklehead and at worst a guy who can be an actively negative influence on young players — and Young arguably has negative trade value.
So, the team should waive him. Within this option there are three scenarios:
1. The team waives him outright, eating his full salary for both season and taking the full cap hit this upcoming season and the following one.
2. Waive him using the stretch provision. This would allow the Lakers to take his remaining $11 million and “stretch” that amount over 5 seasons for a cap hit of roughly $2.2 million per season for the next half decade. This must be done before the end of August.
3. Waive him for his full salary this year, then stretch his salary for his final season over 3 seasons for a cap hit of roughly $1.85 million over the next three years.
Of all these options, number 3 looks like the best one. Financially it is the best since it allows the Lakers to take the worst part of the cap hit next season while also having the stretch amount be less than what it would be if they were to apply it to the full amount of the contract. And logistically it still accomplishes the goal of moving on from the player.
Lastly, I really want to say that while I would fully endorse the team waiving Young, I still wish him the best. I was pleasantly surprised at his level of play in his first season and truly enjoyed the exuberance and fun he brought to a downtrodden team that was not very good. His love of being a Laker stood out as a major positive in the wake of Dwight Howard leaving money on the table to join the Rockets and other FA’s shunning the team to sign elsewhere.
That said, I think it’s clear what the prudent move is now. The only question is when and how it happens.
J C hoops says
Darius your article is well written as usual, but I must disagree about Nick. I’m one of the few that feels his off-court issues between his personal life and a teammate’s social media mishap were overblown.
There will be a honeymoon period with Luke for the entire franchise and Nick like everyone else will be on board. Ball movement and teamwork should be our new targets and I don’t believe Nick’s stats under Byron should be held against him. I think any ball player including Nick can play better when good coaching and a positive environment encourage teamwork.
It’s been well documented that last year’s offense was stagnant other than giving our legendary icon every opportunity to score or make plays for others but those results weren’t good for most.
If three-point shots come easier after moving the rock more, Nick’s stats should improve. If the fear is that he is a horrible player and he’ll soon become totally untradeable, then they can stretch him next year or try to dump him at the trade deadline.
IMO it would be better for the franchise to give Nick the same clean slate everyone else is getting under Luke.
My opinion :
Nick young is not a good player, at best he is league average. He cheated on his girl and it went public in a really bad way. Let’s make it clear, THAT IS BAD N.Young!!!!! I hope he feels bad for it. But it was D.Russ who recorded the conversation and it doesn’t matter if he uploaded it on purpose or his phone got hacked or the Grinch stole it!!!!! D.Russ shouldn’t have recorded it!!!!! The bad vibes in the locker room were not a result of N.Young cheating but a teammate making it public. I think the only reason D.Russ is not getting killed in the public is his talent level and potential. Exchange D.Russ with a random guy from the end of the bench? He would never get a job offer again in the NBA.
In real life who is your friend, a guy who cheated or a guy who is exposing privat secrets?
So let’s give N.Young a fresh start as D.Russ got it. If he plays bad and is no help on the court trade I’m later or waive him next year.
What about a buy out? How would that work? Like can they offer 9 million but only take the cap hit this year?
I think Nick could play better. The problem is that his off court problems go beyond just the incident with Russell. He just doesn’t seem to be a good role model for the Lakers younger players.
As I understand a contract without options you would take the full cap hit but pay lower actual salary. I’m just uncertain how an option can be handled.
Appears I’m in the minority (nothing new), but I don’t believe Nick wants to remain on a team that:
1) doesn’t want him (and has allowed that to become pretty public)
2) this season is projected by one ESPN writer to finish with the worst w-l record
3) will minimize his role at the age of 31
I do believe Nick loves his contract & the L.A. lifestyle, but that’s not the same as wanting to remain a Laker. Nick is just being P C.
Full disclosure, never a Nick Young fan, so I won’t miss him. Less than a week to go to decide how to become Nick free…let’s do it.
Nick young, nick young, nick young, nick young, nick young, nick young, just had to mention him a couple times
Seriously though, I’m guessing whatever picks they got with caulderon would be packaged with nick young and you would get nothing in return, probably should be done soon to leave a spot open for training camp.
Thank you Darius for taking the time to allow us to see your
views of Nick Young in your terms.
Sadly, the Nick Young issue appears to loom over the lakers like a dark cloud.Of course this would be a non-issue if he
were a solid contributing basketball player;something he has not been these past couple of seasons.Although it’s a leap to assume he will
continue down a negative contributing path with the lakers or for any other nba
team,it’s the dark cloud that laker
management must take into consideration and hopefully as you suggest, decide to
waive sooner rather than later.
I agree, option 3 seems the most feasible.
Travis Y says
Agree to an extent on Darius’ write up. When deciding what to do with Nick Young (NY), one must consider the concept of opportunity cost.
What do we get for stretching or waiving NY?
-Getting rid of negative locker room dynamic
-Losing a below average defender
-Taking out a ball dominant me first scorer
-More playing time for younger players (Ingram)
What do we get if we keep NY?
-Someone who can be a practice player for 2 years who we would end up paying anyway (unless a buyout agreement is struck).
-Someone who has a slim chance of rehabbing his bad ball dominant habits in hopes of becoming a team-oriented player and 3 point option.
All this being said, I say we keep him, let him be a practice player until he wants a buy out (most likely scenario). If he becomes more of a cancer, pouts, or has a negative influence on our young players, then it’s time to give him the boot.
Everyone deserves a second chance and considering that the Lakers will pay him anyway and don’t need to get rid of NY’s salary to get a star player, I believe we should give him one more chance.
I’m in the dump Young camp. Option 3 looks the best and I expect the FO to go that route. If all Young is bringing in the way of positives is a live practice body I just don’t see why we can’t get that with another, younger player who might yet develop some skills and who doesn’t come with so much baggage. If Young were truly valuable in any way as an NBA player moving forward someone would have gone in for a trade for him.
I wish Young well, but his time here is at an end.
_Craig W says
We fans tend to think in extremes. The front office does not have this luxury. IMO – Nick Young would be moved if the Lakers could find a partner, but they can’t. Therefore, I would stretch him only if I have a player I want in that 15th spot on the roster. I think the fans and the ‘talking heads’ are the ones obsessing over the team situation and the team itself is more concerned with how they can come together and how each player can maximize their own talents here. I don’t think of Young as a great distraction – except as the media continues to ask questions about him. Also, Walton has more of the D’Antoni in him and will probably do a better job of maximizing Nick’s talent than Byron Scott could. Side note – I wonder if he would sign with Houston, if we waived him?
Again, unless we have someone we wish to develop in the 15th spot, why wouldn’t we delay our Nick Young decision until next summer?
_Craig W This is a really good point and there is still a chance that the FO will decide they are better off keeping him on the team this year for all the reasons you describe. The reason I think they will drop Young is because of the signings of Yi and Auguste which take us to 16/15; somebody will have to be gone by the time the season starts. If Young doesn’t get stretched by the end of the month and has a really good training camp and preseason and Auguste doesn’t than Young may very well stay.
MT87 _Craig W
I had heard of Auguste being signed but, I haven’t heard of an official announcement yet.
Vasheed MT87 _Craig W Yeah, I’m not sure if it had been made official or if the terms have been leaked yet, but according to BleacherReport the Lakers and Auguste have an agreement. I would guess he isn’t guaranteed a roster spot. Its possible that Auguste goes straight to the D league after training camp and Young still keeps his spot. However, the FO has made a habit in recent years of keeping a roster slot open once the regular season starts so its also possible that they like Auguste, send him to the D league, and still waive Young to maintain roster flexibility.
Clay Bertrand says
J C hoops
really sorta torn here on Swaggy……..Not because I think he is the greatest basketball
asset in the league. I just think he DOES have SOME usefulness as a 3pt
shooter and bench scorer in the right scenario. My problem is that I don’t
want to have to add a pick to trade him and I don’t want to simply buy him out only
for him to go help some other team. There are some odd rumors regarding
teams being interested in SIGNING him but not TRADING for him. The
Celtics have been mentioned……Houston is laying in the weeds w Mike D…..As a
17 win team, we can’t be concerned with OTHER teams so much right now but still……
Swaggy should have SOME value
for some team even if it means that a component of that value comes in the form
of that team offloading one of THEIR Nick Young types. What has really NOT helped the Lakers’ cause
in this case has been the ever present public media overstatements of Swaggy’s
imminent release/waiving/stretch/buyout which I think has significantly CHILLED
any market that there could have been for him.
seems possibly that part of why he can’t be moved is due to the Lakers not
wanting to take on additional contracts that would disturb the future
flexibility to add FAs. As a player, he
has SOME value IMO. As a player with his
particular contract situation, not so much.
As a player who can only be dealt for other guys on longer or less
desirable contracts, he still has value, but the Lakers do not want that type
of exchange at this time.
words, I think as a player, he still has value.
However, the totality of the Lakers’ financial circumstances and future
plans along with his lackluster play last season (not to mention the Russell
fiasco) have painted the FO into a corner whereby his value may well not be
able to bring any return no matter how meager. They may just have to cut their losses here.
be wrong and he could be truly in the Carlos Boozer category whereby
when we release him, he has to go to China to play and then dissolves away. I don’t see that happening though. I think Swaggy plays in the NBA next
season. He loved being a Laker when he was
wanted. I wish him well…..UNLESS he
signs with FOSTON!!!! BUCK FOSTON!!!!!!!!
Clay Bertrand says
I think you make some really good points. Swaggy is a professional athlete and he has to have some personal pride. I wonder what the conversations and interactions are like behind closed doors because he HAS been there practicing at the facility. He has even been there with some of the young guys. I’m sure there has been interaction with Luke and the other coaches too.
I wonder if things are truly totally broken if the Lakers are still letting him practice with the team etc. He IS under contract but if they truly didn’t want his presence around the team, that would be communicated to him and he would stay away as they transitioned away from him in whatever way they choose to do it.
It is a little odd that he is around prepping for the season with training camp 5 weeks away and his looming STRETCH date less than a week out.
LT Mitchell says
I wonder if opinions of Nick Young would change if the roles were reversed…. meaning if DAR was the one privately admitting to cheating or something similar and Young was the one filming the conversation with the video being leaked. I think in this scenario, Young would be cast as even a bigger villain than he currently is, and DAR would still get a pass from many here. If you can forgive DAR, you can forgive Nick. Nick took less money to be a Laker, and is a better player right now than Anthony Brown. If he can help this team on the court, he deserves a roster spot.
I think you make a good point. However, Nick’s issues go beyond that one incident. I’m thinking of him, Clarkson, ad Russell having their photo taken by a woman who felt she was being harassed. The overall vibe I get is Nick is a locker room problem.
J C hoops says
Feels like guys like Swaggy always find a home. It’s all about puttin the ball in the hole
LT Mitchell I agree with Vasheed. If you remove the Young-D’lo incident from consideration entirely my opinion about Young wouldn’t change. He doesn’t have the work ethic to add parts to his game. He makes boneheaded decisions in the real world, as well as the basketball court, on a regular basis. Remember the lit firework in his hand over the summer? Young has a history that D’lo does not.
To me, Young is a lot like J.R. Smith. He needs somebody like Lebron to keep him in line and give him guidance and we aren’t that team right now. Young is like a perpetual rookie, always in need of a vet to tell him to not do something stupid except Young is 30. I want players on the team that will tell D’lo not to do stupid crap. Young seems way more like the guy who makes it easier for other people to make stupid decisions. There is a place for him, but it isn’t on a team that is trying to build good habits and character.
Agree 100% !!
All the childish back and forth horse play between Young and Russell, which led to the silly recording, is what happens when a 30 year old, has a teen-age-level relationship, with a teen ager.
Add to the fact that Nick was planting negative influential seeds on a kid, who has the potential to be our franchise player; seeds which could one day take root and cause any number of destructive scenarios, is enough to call logic into the decision to send him on his way.
All that doesn’t even include the fact that Nick’s style, strengths and weaknesses on the basketball court, are like trying to force an old brick into a circular new glass opening.
This is not a question of second chances; We simply don’t need Young, off or on the court.
new rr says
J C hoops
One problem with this is that Young’s numbers in 2014-15
under Scott weren’t notably different than they had been throughout his career.
People just didn’t see that because he had the best year of his career under D’Antoni
and then Young’s USG cratered when Kobe came back last year, and then his whole
season disintegrated. Since Young has no real skills except volume scoring,
when his USG drops off, his value nosedives. This has always been true and can
be seen easily simply by looking at his basic metrics.
As to whether to keep him now, it ultimately doesn’t matter
that much. If Young is willing to be the 13-14th guy, get very
occasional playing time as a spot-up shooter, and keep a good attitude so he
can keep being a Laker, then it is not a big deal if they keep him. If he’s
not, then it is not a big deal if they get rid of him. But given that the team
already has a better veteran instant-offense guy in Lou Williams (whom I think
should be moved, as I have said) I would just as soon that the FO keep Anthony
Brown or even Xavier Henry around than keep Young. And while no contract is
totally untradeable, Young has negative trade value right now. He is 31, there
are two years left on his deal, and the last year of his deal is player option.
Giving Young a guaranteed four-year deal for his age 29-32
seasons was as noted by many at the time simply a very bad bet, so the current
situation is no surprise.
You really need to take the age of both parties into the equation.
If you do that it changes the whole picture.
For example, look how well D’Angelo was treated by team the USA practice guys,.. Not a one held anything against the kid. Even Melo singling him out for special career tips.
If they can see that there are diverse differences in responsibilities between adults and kids, then you should too.
After all, one is our bright future, and the other, our dark past.
One team who might take nick young is the suns,
according to basketball insiders team salaries, the suns have a salary of 80 million, and the have 15 players with contracts, 2 are non guaranteed, the salary cap floor i read is 85 million, unless the suns add 5 million they don’t reach the salary cap floor
Clay Bertrand says
new rr J C hoops
I share a lot of your sentiments here. I’d like to get something for him if we are going to get rid of him which is highly unlikely at this point, but its not a crucial deal either way. I personally don’t care about the issue with Russell but if its gonna make for Swaggy having a crappy attitude, then he’s not a keeper.
Clay Bertrand says
Vasheed LT Mitchell
Clay Bertrand says
MT87 LT Mitchell
Agreed. If he is a problem and going to have a bad work ethic etc. he has to go. I just wonder if in fact he can change his ways under Luke? If Luke is such a good bonding coach who can reach each guys in a special way as he has been described, perhaps he can get Swaggy back on a better trajectory.
Of course, the flip side could be that Luke is young and inexperienced himself and we don’t want to give HIM added issues to deal with as a first year coach who already has a full plate with a young team and a task to grow a new culture.
new rr J C hoops I agree with all of this.
J C hoops says
Solid points by all. Good topic here.
Brooklyn Nets, stretched deron williams and will pay him a little over 5 million a year until through the 2019-20 season
Ignoring all the off court distractions, Young is not a good fit with what changes the Lakers are implementing next season. His one NBA skill is his 3 point shooting. His 2 point shooting is below average and he is a very reluctant passer. He is an athletic wing who does not play defense. Young was at times a welcome distraction for the past few years as the Lakers swirled down the toilet bowl. That is a skill that is no longer needed. He is well paid for his contributions and I wish him well on his next team.
A Horse With No Name says
Everything you wanted to know about the laker’s European Scout, Antonio Maceiras. It’s in Spanish, so if you don’t speak it, lo siento. Here’s a few things of interest:
He’s been a long time follower of the lakers, loved the great 80’s teams. He rose to prominence in the Spanish leagues, working for Spanish powerhouses Barcelona and Madrid. In his words, the team infrastructure isn’t so specialized there, so he learned to do a bit of everything. It was there that he got to know Etorre Messina, and it was through Messina, who served as an assistant under Mike Brown for the lakers, that he got connected to the lakers and ultimately hired by them as their European scout. He currently resides in the beautiful city of Mallorca, a convenient base for his scouting travels. In addition to speaking Spanish and Catalan, he speaks Italian, Portuguese, English and a bit of French. During the season, he sees 3-4 professional games a week, criss-crossing Europe. During spring, he sees a lot of under 18 tournaments, wherein he will see as many six games a day, which is of course challenging and hard to keep one’s concentration. He fires off reports via email that are available to everyone relevant in the organization. (An interesting fact I thought.) He’s looking for talent of course, but also players with upside who have the potential to have good NBA careers. In response to a question about is it possible to find a diamond in the rough, he states that it isn’t easy as players are very well scouted from a young age in Europe. He notes that it’s relatively easy to study veterans who might have value (Huertas comes to mind), but the tricky thing is scouting the young players, 18,19,20 years old, who get very little playing time for their clubs that favor veterans. These are the players who get drafted; so preparing for the draft is his main focus. The critical thing is identifying the prospects is who can play the NBA game, which is more physical, more athletic, more one on one. He comments that there are top players in Europe who choose to stay there because they are paid well and their games may not translate to the NBA.
Asked if he would like to work in the United States as a basketball executive, Maceiras says he’s living a great life, doing what he loves, and loves working with the lakers.
FYI: With Robert Sacre moving on to the Pelicans, Nick Young becomes the longest tenured player on the team.
Clay Bertrand says
A Horse With No Name
Muy padre Carnal!!! Muchas Gracias por contando!!
Clay Bertrand says
This speaks to the turnover of the tumultuous last 3 years as well as to the “facelift” the roster has undergone with Kobe retiring and the youth movement taking shape.
Will you have to update this posting in 5 days????? We shall see…………
If nick young is 6th man of the year, we were all wrong
Still R says
Matt, in what alternate universe is Swaggy 6th man of the year? Surely not ours.
JR Smith indeed…. On and off the court. Not only the locker room incidents but the all the negative press he has generated with Iggy as well. Some players should not be in their hometown or a big metroplex. This is not about talent but character and maturity which Nick seems to be lacking. I’m truly disappointed because this is truly a LA guy and you think he would get it.
It is time for Nick to go for both the team and for the good of his career. The team obviously because he doesn’t not fit the current roster in terms of where both are. The team clearly cannot deny it is rebuild mode and Nick still has some game left but needs to be on a veteran nononse team. Nick Young in Cleveland or San Antonio might be the 6th man of the year.
However, the Lakers should not waive anyone with value. Trade him for picks and projects we need young talent and plenty of it.
new rr says
My condolences to Darius and his family.
Clay Bertrand says
Darius, I’m sorry for your loss. Celebrate his life as much as you can with your family. All the best man.
Hey Darius, you have been here for us and we are now here for you. Your father sounds like he someone we all would have liked to know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Peace.
Mid Wilshire says
Darius, My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
_ Robert _ says
your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
A Horse With No Name says
My condolences. Best to you and yours. Take the time you need.
Condolences, Darius. Thanks for sharing a little about him with us.
Darius condolences to you and your’s. Thoughts and prayers to you and family.
Darius, condolences. I hope that you and your family are able to make peace with his passing. Our prayers are with you.
J C hoops says
All of us who’ve lost a loved one know how life-changing this can be. All the best to the family.
Yi signing has intruiging (potential) ramifications:
Sorry for your loss. My prayers & sympathy are extended to you and your family.
Hey Darius:I see
where you get many of your positive and forward thinking traits.looking back, you must have had a great
Prayers to you and your family.Give your mom and your brother a great big hug.
Remember, we’re your forum blue and gold family and we feel you.
Maybe young can take over kobe’s role and shoot 30 times a games a guarantee he will adverage at least 20 points
Darius, I was late in this due to vacation/business trip.
We may not know each other in real life, but I feel we are family. Being Filipino and all, and bound by purple/gold blood.
Much has been said by others and very well so, consider my message as a drop of tear in an ocean of sorrow.
My sincerest condolences and prayer in this difficult time.
Thoughts and prayers.
Joe Kerr says
Prayers go out to Darius and his family.
So sorry for your loss Darius. Peace & Blessings to you and Family.
My condolences to you and your family Darius.
Well, Zack is officially signed, which bumps up our current roster to 16.
Looks bad for Nick.
A Horse With No Name says
Zack is a camp signing. If he does well he will likely sign with the. Defenders. If he shines there he may get a deal overseas. Good for him.
Darius, thoughts and prayers to you and your family on your loss.
My prayers go out to you and your family, darius…..may the lord give you and your loved ones the strength needed in this situation
Tra 35 says
Thoughts and Prayers go out to you and your family Darius.
The Lakers also signed Travis Wear for training camp. Auguste however, got an official announcement on the Lakers website. I doubt Auguste is a lock for the final roster but, the interest level in him looks real.
lil pau says
Really sorry for your loss, Darius. Good thoughts always.
Just finding out about your loss Darius – my condolences.
Darius – Given what you’ve said about your dad, I’m sure he was proud your ability to bring people together through this website. Thanks for all that you do for all of us, your FB&G family, with our sincere condolences.
_Craig W says
Just saw your tweet. Much sympathy for you and your family. Losing parents is never easy, but it is part of the cycle of life. Whatever time – and whatever form – your absence takes, know that we all support you here at Forum Blue and Gold.