After losing center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets and suffering through a rash of injuries that cost a pair of future Hall-of-Fame guards, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, most of their seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers finished with a record of 27-55, the sixth-worst mark in the league. However, one of their bright spots was swingman Nick Young, who had the best season of his career. The Lakers rewarded Young with a four-year, $21.5 million deal.
“Of course they made me a priority by giving me four years and that’s something that I wanted really, just to be part of the team,” said Young via Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.
Of course, Young knew he wasn’t their number one priority – that was New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers landed a meeting with Anthony and were reportedly very impressive. In fact Anthony even thought hard about signing with the Lakers (and the Chicago Bulls), but in the end, he re-signed with the Knicks. That means Young was a bit of a backup plan, but he seems to understand why.
“I wasn’t sure,” Young said. “We had a couple other offers, but we were waiting. Everybody was really waiting on what Melo was going to do and it all depended on what Melo was going to do. Obviously he went back home and I guess I was secondary, but hey, I’m here.”
Young averaged 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 43.5% from the field, 38.6% from beyond the arc and 82.5% from the free throw line. In his career, he has averaged 12.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 42.9% from the floor, 37.7% from three and 82.7% from charity stripe.