The Lakers were close to cutting Nick Young before the start of this season, but they decided to take a chance on him. They gave him a shot at competing for a roster spot. Young played extremely well in training camp and in the preseason, which earned him a starting spot on the Lakers, he never looked back since. Six months later, he is not only the Lakers’ best shooter from deep, but he is also one of the top deadeye threats in the league this season.
Young is currently leading the Lakers in 3-point shooting percentage at 42 percent. He is the only player on the roster that is shooting above 40 percent from beyond the arch; Lou Williams is second best on the team shooting from deep at 38 percent.
Already in his 10th season in the NBA, Young is having the best shooting season of his career. Not only is he shooting a career high from beyond the arch, he is also putting up an efficient 45 percent from the field, another career best.
Young’s transformation into the Lakers’ biggest threat from deep is mind boggling if you take a peek at his performance last year, in which he barely shot over 30 percent from the season. He shot only 32 percent from deep and 33 percent from the field that season.
To put it in perspective of how great he has been from deep, Young is in the top ten in 3-point field goal percentage, makes, and attempts in the entire NBA. At 42 percent, he is tied for 9th in the league. He is also tied for 7th in 3-point field goals made at 2.9 and 7th in 3-point field goals attempted per game at 6.9 (nice).
With the All-Star break approaching in a few weeks, one could argue that Young deserves to be in the 3-point competition with the best shooters in the league. He has already hinted that he would participate in the event if he has an invitation
Nick Young said he “better be in it” when I asked about the 3-point contest initially. Young said NBA hasn’t asked him yet to participate
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) February 1, 2017
The last Laker to participate in the 3-point contest was Byron Scott in the 1987 season. No Laker ever has won the award. Young would have a decent shot at being the first Laker to win the contest. In the start on January, Young set a franchise record for the most 3-pointers made in an eight-game stretch at 36.
Nick Young set a record tonight. @NickSwagyPYoung now has the franchise record for most threes made over an 8-game stretch: 36. Shot 56% too
— Shahan A. (@shahanLA) January 2, 2017
From being nearly unplayable last season to being one the best shooters on the team this season, it is no surprised that Young has found his upbeat and jovial spirit on and off the court. He provides the Lakers with decent spacing on the floor, which supports D’Angelo Russell’s playmaking ability.
If Young can keep shooting and playing the way he is now throughout the end of the season, it will help validate the Lakers’ decision to keep him around was correct.