Ex-Laker Pleads With NBA: ‘One More Year’

Nick Young, former Lakers guard

Getty Nick Young, former Lakers guard

When last we saw Nick Young in the NBA, he had logged four games for the Nuggets early in the 2018-19 season, playing a total of 37 minutes and scoring just 9 points. Denver waived him on December 30 that year and he has not played since.

He, apparently, wants back in, at least for a one-year chance. Badly.

“NBA I JUST WANT ONE MORE YEAR,” Young tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Under normal circumstances, a guy like Young, with a reputation as a sharpshooter, might be worth an NBA team taking a flier. He did, after all, play 12 years in the NBA and shot a very solid 37.6% on his 3-point attempts. He also averaged 11.4 points and had his best season in 2013-14, when he scored 17.9 points per game and made 38.6% of his 3-pointers while playing for the Lakers.

He won a championship, too, coming off the bench for the 2018 Warriors. He averaged 7.3 points that year for Golden State, though his postseason impact (2.6 points and 29.8% from the 3-point line.

Nick Young Flamed Out with Warriors

It was that performance in the playoffs that has likely kept Young out of the league for two years. Because Young contributes little else to his team besides his perimeter shooting, any sign that he can’t deliver in key situations was bound to make him less valuable to contenders. And, just a few days shy of his 35th birthday, Young certainly won’t fit with a rebuilding outfit.

Young had signed with the Warriors in July 2017 for a hefty $5.2 million. He made $40 million in his NBA career but never signed a major, big-money contract at any point. He played out his rookie contract for the first five seasons of his career (with Washington, except for a trade to the Clippers in the final season of that deal), then signed a one-year, $5.6 million deal with the Sixers in 2013.

After struggling in Philadelphia, Young signed a one-year minimum deal with the Lakers, played well and was rewarded with a four-year, $21 million contract from the Lakers, who had an option they declined for the fourth year.

In March, when the Lakers created an open roster spot by waiving Troy Daniels, Young replied to an ESPN Instagram post asking whom the team should sign with, “Nick Young.”

“Swaggy P” Persona Doesn’t Help

Of course, another factor holding back a Young return, besides performance concerns, is his “Swaggy P” personality, which can be charming for fans and teammates but annoying to coaches and front-office types. Young has a reputation for not working hard enough or paying enough attention to detail.

And Young has been in the middle of some unflattering events in recent years, most notably his arrest in August 2018 during a traffic stop.

He also, embarrassingly, was shown in a video getting into a scuffle at a rec league game in November.

In a lighter incident back at the beginning of the month, Young was driving in L.A. and nearly was hit by another driver’s car. It turned out to be old friend and former Wizards and Warriors teammate JaVale McGee, now with the Lakers.

McGee tweeted, “WHAT ARE THE ODDS!” Well, with Young’s history, the odds are pretty good.

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