NBA Rumors: Former Lakers, Warriors Guard Wants Back in the League

Nick Young, NBA free agent

Getty Nick Young, NBA free agent

It seems to be working for Carmelo Anthony. So why not get another high-profile but long-in-the-tooth veteran back into the NBA?

If 12-year veteran Nick Young has his way, that’ll happen this year. Young last played for the Nuggets in December of 2018, scoring nine points in four games before he was waived by the team after three weeks.

But when a camera from TMZ caught up with Young this week, he said he’s still willing and open to a return to the league.

“Yeah, hopefully man,” Young said. “Hopefully I’ll be on a roster for the playoffs.”

Asked if he had a team in mind, Young said, “Every team.”

There was speculation that Young could be ready to return to the NBA earlier this season, when he participated in informal scrimmages with the Knicks before the start of training camp. Then-coach David Fizdale of New York was asked whether Young could still be playing.

“He can still play,” Fizdale said at the time. “He’s Swaggy P.”

The Knicks, however, never showed serious interest in bringing Young into the fold.

Young played for six teams during his time in the NBA and while he is not much of a defender (an understatement) or a passer (also an understatement), there’s no doubt that he can knock down 3-point shots, the lifeblood of modern NBA offense.

For his career, Young was a 37.6 percent 3-point shooter and shot better than 40 percent from the 3-point arc three times. The last time, in 2016-17, Young was at 40.4 percent, 22nd in the NBA.

Where Could Nick Young Land?

Young also has three playoff appearances under his belt, for a total of 35 games. He played 20 postseason games for the Warriors in 2018, including two games as a starter. He struggled in that postseason, though, shooting just 30.2 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from the 3-point line.

Young did appear to want back with the Warriors last season in the team’s final run with Kevin Durant on board, which ended with a Finals loss to the Raptors. After Golden State lost in the Finals, Young tweeted out, “A bench is important,” an apparent dig at the Warriors’ lack of scoring in reserve.

In the clinching Game 6 of that series, Golden State’s bench was outscored, 37-20 by Toronto’s bench.

The Warriors were Young’s last regular gig in the NBA. He played in 80 regular-season games for Golden State, including eight starts, plus the 20 playoff games. He earned a championship ring, which he was given in 2019. Young averaged 7.3 points per game for the Warriors in the regular season.

It’s a longshot that Young would wind up back in the NBA this year, but if it were to happen, he likely would not be signed until after the trade deadline passes on February 6.

Among potential playoff teams badly in need of 3-point shooting, the Magic (33.4 percent), Thunder (34.1 percent) and Nuggets (34.9 percent) rank among the 10 worst-shooting teams from the perimeter.

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