The 2016-17 NBA season was not kind to the Los Angeles Lakers, but their young core showed signs of growth through an eventful season. The biggest surprise out of training camp was Nick Young’s emergence into the team’s starting shooting guard after a summer full of rumors that the Lakers would release him.
Head coach Luke Walton is responsible for breathing new life into Young this season and revitalized his career. Young has the option to terminate his contract with the Lakers this summer and according to Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News, he sounds like a man who has played his last game in the purple and gold:
If Nick Young opts out, did Pelinka & Magic provide any clarity how much they'd invest in keeping him? Nick with an interesting answer pic.twitter.com/BAVj1iiI5T
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 13, 2017
Young makes reference to the Ball family who have made headlines in recent months. Lonzo Ball is the highly-touted potential first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from UCLA whose father LaVar Ball is notorious for making bold claims. Young’s light-hearted jab to the Ball family may signal his intent to opt-out of his current contract with the Lakers.
However, this is all relative and depends on the Lakers keeping their top-three protected draft pick. Should Los Angeles be fortunate enough to keep their pick, a player like Ball would fit in perfectly next to D’Angelo Russell, who has thrived at the shooting guard position late in the season. If the Lakers lose their pick, they may want to consider re-signing Young if he opts-out of his deal.
Young’s resurgence was one of the few bright spots in the fourth consecutive losing season for the Lakers and he said he would like to play for a playoff team. President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are steadfast in their efforts to improve the roster, but barring any significant changes, the Lakers are just not quite ready for a playoff push with their current roster.