The Lakers’ training camp begins in about six weeks, and Nick Young is still on the roster. Yesterday, it was reported that Young has been trying to work on his relationship with D’Angelo Russell. It appears that the two players have moved on from the leaked Snapchat incident last season. According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers are not so forgiving on Young.
“They have been trying to trade him for a while,” Ding said. “They are still trying to trade him. They are willing to even buy him out if necessary to move on.”
A few years ago, Nick Young had a tremendous season under Mike D’Antoni. In the 2013-14 season, Young averaged 18 points while shooting a decent 38% from deep. Last year was a different story; Young averaged a career-low 7.3 points and shot a mediocre 32% from deep. Young’s struggles last year on the court and his drama with Russell has forced the Lakers to look away from him.
“Nick did bring a legitimate breath of fresh air a couple of years ago with his energy and his real pride in being a Laker when the team was terrible,” Ding said. “Unfortunately, Nick sort of became terrible and that is why they are ready to move on from him.”
The Lakers could give Young another shot under Luke Walton’s system and hope he can regain his “swagger” and scoring abilities, but it seems like that is not the option the Lakers are heading right now.
“Unless they get the feeling that Nick is the perfect fit for Luke Walton’s offense, then they should give him a prime role,” Ding said. “But Nick has not given them the reason to believe that.”
The Lakers have protected Russell from the incident, and they have not lost hope in him. They are ready to move from this whole fiasco with Russell leading the way.
“D’Angelo is the man,” said Ding. “I’m not surprised at all that people are starting to realize how good he can be. He showed it in the summer. He is going to show it way more during the regular season. He is legit. He is going to be a star in this league.”
The drama from last season did not change the way they viewed him.
“They believed that they have something special in him,” said Ding. “There is a reason why they drafted him to be the face of the franchise when Kobe leaves. And this is his chance. It is time for D’Angelo to take it.”