The Los Angeles Lakers still have some work to do to round out the roster for the upcoming 2016-17 season. After agreeing to four-year deals with Jordan Clarkson, Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, the team still has a few open spots on the roster they can fill.
Could another spot be opening up soon? There has no been no shortage of chatter that Nick Young may have played his final game already with the Lakers, with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times recently reporting that “it will be a surprise if he’s not traded or waived before training camp.”
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina basically confirmed reports of Young’s imminent departure (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll).
Medina says if the Lakers aren't able to trade Nick Young, they're just going to buy him out. Relationship w/D'Angelo doesn't matter to LAL.
— Grant Goldberg (@GrantGoldberg) July 3, 2016
Long before the off-court incident with D’Angelo Russell, Young’s play had declined considerably since Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach and was replaced by Byron Scott. Additionally, his off-court antics have shed a negative light, perhaps serving as a distraction at times, and that’s not the type of guy you want in a locker room with a promising, young core.
Also, with Brandon Ingram, Anthony Brown and now Deng on the roster, there likely isn’t any minutes available for Young at the small forward position anyways.
The trade market for Young is probably bare, so it will be difficult for the Lakers to find a suitor for him, but they will certainly try. Either way, it appears his days in purple and gold are numbered.