Young, a one-time fan-favorite during his stint with the Lakers from 2013-17, expressed his interest in an Instagram comment, saying simply: “I’m ready.”
Nick Young wants to come back 👀 pic.twitter.com/7GbetJnwXy
— Ali B (@ali_behpoornia) June 24, 2020
It’s not the first time Young has expressed interest in his former team. In an ESPN poll on Instagram earlier this season asking who the Lakers should add between Jamal Crawford, Dion Waiters and JR Smith, Young inserted himself in the comments as a write-in candidate. He also put out a message in May saying in all caps: “NBA I JUST WANT ONE MORE YEAR.”
NBA I JUST WANT ONE MORE YEAR
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) May 27, 2020
Young won an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in 2018 as a role player and last played with the Denver Nuggets in 2018. However, he appeared in just four games with the Nuggets.
One of Young’s best NBA seasons came with the Lakers during the 2016-17 campaign. He started a career-high 60 games, averaging 25.9 minutes and 13.2 points. He also shot over 40 percent from 3-point range. His best statistical year came during his first year with the Lakers in 2013-14 where he averaged 17.9 points in a sixth-man role.
Young — also known as “Swaggy P” — shoots 37.6 percent from 3-point range for his career, but it’s unlikely the Lakers would be interested in a reunion.
Lakers Have JR Smith as ‘Top Candidate’ to Replace Avery Bradley
The Lakers are reportedly eyeing veteran guard JR Smith to replace Bradley on the roster. Smith worked out for the Lakers earlier in the season, but the team decided instead to sign Dion Waiters with their lone available roster spot. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the team had met with Smith’s agent about a possible deal.
“Lakers president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and Smith’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, were discussing a possible agreement Tuesday night and were expected to speak again Wednesday,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Lakers superstar LeBron James won the NBA title with Smith while in Cleveland in 2016. He’d give the Lakers another 3-point shooter in their arsenal and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would likely move into the starting lineup in the absence of Bradley.
For his career, Smith is shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range and averages 12.5 points per game. However — like Young — he’s rusty. Smith only played in 11 games as a member of the Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season and hasn’t played in the NBA this season.
Lakers Still an NBA Title Favorite
Bradley has started 44 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 8.6 points while providing a solid defensive presence. However, the team’s title odds have not been too affected despite his decision.
The Lakers are the favorite at +190 to win the championship, per Odds Shark. They’re followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (+290) and the Los Angeles Clippers (+300).
Before the NBA season was put on hold, the Lakers were rolling behind James and Anthony Davis, reeling off a 49-14 record — the best in the Western Conference.