It was the most TMZ-friendly story in the NBA last season: Lakers’ rookie D'Angelo Russell posted a video of Nick Young talking about how he got women and cheated on his fiancee Iggy Azalea. It was one of the dominoes that led to the end of the relationship between the rapper and NBA journeyman. Meanwhile, it led to a lot of tension in the Laker locker room, led to veterans denouncing the rookie, and it was a humbling and maturing moment for Russell (whose ego had been an issue with former coach Byron Scott).
There’s long been a sense the Lakers would not keep Young and Russell both on the roster this coming season — if they couldn’t move Young as part of a trade, they would waive him and stretch the contract. That could still happen.
But Young says he is ready to move on, and that he and Russell coexist in the same locker room just fine. Young spoke to Mark Medina of the Daily News about it outside the Drew League recently (where Young has played well).
“We’re teammates,” Young told the Southern California News Group. “It’s been so long, so it’s kind of old. We’ll be able to work it out. We’ve already been working it out. It is what it is. I can’t be mad forever.”
Young has two years and $11 million left on his contract. Young and old-school coach Scott clashed, but Young also said he is excited to play in a more up-tempo style for new coach Luke Walton. That said, Young shot 33.9 percent overall last season and 32.5 percent from three, poor numbers even for a guy never known as an efficient scorer. Young had a PER of 9.1. Maybe he can improve those numbers, but the question is will the Lakers give him a chance?