Author: Kurt Helin

Nick Young

Report: Lakers will shop around Nick Young this summer


Anyone looking for a potential sixth-man gunner who will come in firing, one the fan base will love (the coach… maybe not so much)? What if said player was on a very affordable contract?

Enter Nick Young.

The Lakers’ had him this season and he was entertaining for the fans as he shot 36.6 percent and clashed with Byron Scott (remember the reaction from Scott and Kobe Bryant after Young and others celebrated a win over Boston?). That said, he did hit his threes and had a true shooting percentage of 52 percent, very close to the league average. He’ll do better next season after he romances the rims. In the right system, Young would have some value, and he is owed just $16.3 million over the next three seasons (the last one is a player option).

The Lakers will test the trade market for him, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. It may just not be that easy.

If the Lakers have their wish, this will mark the end of the so-called Swaggy P era. With Young averaging 13.4 points on a career-low 36 percent shooting and having occasional clashes with Scott, the Lakers will entertain trade offers for him, according to a team official familiar with the front office’s thinking. Still, complications could emerge in trading Young, who still remains under contract for three more years at $16.33 million. Young’s poor play could sour his value as well as the Lakers’ reluctance to attach any draft picks just to expend him.

Young is coming off a fractured knee cap, which doesn’t help his trade value. And he’s not the guy you want in every locker room, the Lakers became tired of his behavior and comments. He’s a character, which can come off as being a clown.

For the record, Young is confident he will return to LA.

Yet, Young still maintained he feels “confident” that he will return next season still wearing a Lakers uniform.

“I’m confident in everything,” Young said. “Whatever happens, happens. It’s meant to happen.”

We’ll see if that confidence attracts another team that could put him in a better situation.


Rod Thorn, the long time NBA executive who drafted Michael Jordan, to retire

Lavoy Allen And Nikola Vucevic Draft Press Conference

Rod Thorn is a guy well known and well respected around the NBA. Other executives trusted him. That’s why he returned as the NBA’s president of basketball operations as the league transitioned from David Stern to Adam Silver in the commissioner’s chair. He was there to provide a little stability.

Now Thorn is about to retire, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Thorn, 73, returned to the league office in August 2013 to oversee the league’s daily operations under commissioner Adam Silver, an appointment that had been planned to be a two-year bridge to a longer-term successor, sources said. Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, is a strong candidate to be promoted to take Thorn’s job, sources said.

Thorn had three stops as a general manager – with the Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. He was the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2001-02 for orchestrating the Nets’ dramatic turnaround that led to an NBA Finals run. Thorn might best remembered for drafting Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft.

After his run with the Bulls, Thorn came on to be the NBA’s president of basketball operations under Stern for 14 years. He then jumped back into the NBA’s front office ranks.

People forget Thorn was a player before all that — he’s was the No. 2 pick back in the 1963 NBA draft, and he played eight NBA seasons.

He was given the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hall of Fame this year.


Quote of the Day: Nick Young says his bad shooting due to rim “tripping this year”

Nick Young

How would Iggy Azalea feel about Nick Young taking the rim on a date?

Man, I have missed having Young around.

The Lakers’ shoot-first gunner has been out since late February with knee issues, and it just hasn’t been the same. Tuesday he — and the other host of injured Lakers out for the season, such as Jeremy Lin and Julius Randle — had their exit interviews with the media.

Young was asked about his shooting because, well, it was bad. Never an efficient shooter, the career 42.3 percent shooter fell to a lowly 36.6 percent this season. He still shot the three ball well (36 percent), which gave him a true shooting percentage of 52 percent, close to the league average.

He was one of the guys who didn’t fit with Byron Scott and whatever it was he was trying to do (it wasn’t clear). Young is owed a very affordable $16.4 million over the next three seasons (last year a player option), which is a good value if the Lakers keep him and use him properly. Or it’s a good trade chip.

Either way, expect Young back next season, and that is good for all of us.