Going into the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have only five players under contract. Of those five, one, Nick Young in particular, has the option to opt out of his player option this summer, becoming an unrestricted free agent, but according to Lang Green of Basketball Insiders, the shooting guard seems open to returning to the franchise:
A source very close to Young recently told Basketball Insiders the Los Angeles native would prefer to wear a Lakers uniform next season despite the uncertainty of the team’s roster and the vacant head coach position.
However, the source fully believes Young will elect to opt out of his deal this summer in order to fully evaluate his options on the free agent circuit in July.
With injuries depleting the 2012-13 Lakers roster, Young was given an extended chance to show the world what he could do on the biggest stage in basketball, and that resulted in a career-year for the reserve, averaging 17.9 points per game, a career-high, along with 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists, another career-high. Having a career year aligns Nick Young for a sure-fire pay day, at least in comparison to what he is making on his current contract, which would be $1.2 million if the shooting guard chooses to opt into his player option, but based on the above information, this seems highly unlikely.
The Los Angeles Lakers are littered with cap space this summer. Including Young’s opt-in, the Lakers will have ~$30 million to work with this summer. Depending on how the front office chooses to approach the summer, deciding between striking on a top free agent now or in the summer of 2015, that could determine how much the organization chooses to shell out for Nick Young.
And depending on what Nick Young values most, money or fame, that could decide whether he’s rocking purple-and-gold next season.