From the minute Nick Young signed his contract with the Lakers he intended to opt out of the second year.
Young is making $1.1 million this season and can choose to stay with the Lakers at $1.2 million or become a free agent. The latter was always the most likely, and that’s before Swaggy P (as he calls himself) averaged 17.3 points a game off the Lakers bench and has shot 37.5 percent form three. He has a PER right at the league average of 15.1 but he’s making millions less than a league average salary.
He wouldn’t be definitive, but when Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com talked to Young he all but said he was going to get paid next season, by the Lakers or somebody. Does he see himself as a $1.2 million player?
“Oh, no,” Young said. “Not at all. Most definitely. I deserve much more than that.”
And Swaggy P wants to have a lot of teams chasing him. “Yeah,” Young/P said. “He most definitely does. And I believe a lot will. That’s a solid answer right there.”
Young has shown he can light it up off the bench, which he did for a Lakers team racked by injuries. He had to take on more offense and he ended not only scoring more than he has before in his career (he was at this level in points per game one year in Washington) but more efficiently than ever before as well.
Young has earned a raise. He’s going to get one, the question now is where. The L.A. native would like to stay with the Lakers but with that team’s uncertain future it’s not a given. And like every player, while he says it’s about winning and all that, we know it’s about the money.
“Most definitely I want to stay home,” Young said. “With the changes I see, they’re going to do some big things this summer. Of course I want to be a part of a championship program and get a chance to compete next year. But we’re just going to see what happens. I’ve got to sit down with my agent and see what happens this summer.”