Feb 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young (0) celebrates his three pointer in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Minnesota wins 109-99. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers believe Nick Young will become free agent

The Los Angeles Lakers would likely prefer to retain Nick Young at season end, but the guard has a player option at season end and the Lakers believe he’ll exercise it.

This week, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak credited Young for having a “great year,” averaging 16.9 points per game and showing a better commitment toward defense. Kupchak then added, “my guess is he’s going to opt out” of his $1.2 million player option in hopes of securing a longer and lucrative deal.

There’s absolutely no reason for Young to decline his player option given his play this season. That said, declining his player option doesn’t mean he’s looking to leave in free agency, rather just secure a larger and more financially secure deal from the Lakers.

Young is a Southern California native and wants to remain with the franchise, assuming the price is right.

Of course, that might be a bit of an issue given the Lakers are wanting to keep their books pretty clean moving forward. But assuming Young isn’t looking anything absurd, the two shouldn’t have much trouble finding a middle ground unless Young is given a deal he can’t refuse on the open market.

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