Nick Young is ready to squash the D’Angelo Russell beef

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Nick Young
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Nick Young /

With a new coach and (apparently) a mended relationship with D’Angelo Russell, has Nick Young earned a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster in 2016-2017?

In a year where the “Kobe Bryant farewell tour” was the only way the Los Angeles Lakers could garner any attention for the product they were placing on the court, the need for an alternative storyline in one of the NBA’s largest markets flourished as the Lakers’ number in the loss column exponentially grew.

Late in the regular season, Hollywood’s team finally delivered.

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31-year-old shooting guard Nick Young had been a notorious figure in the NBA and pop culture for starring in Twitter memes and his free-wheeling, trigger-happy, style of play But most of all, Young was in the tabloids due to his engagement with 26-year-old rapper Iggy Azalea.

Young’s relationship was put in jeopardy after a video taken by 20-year-old point guard D’Angelo Russell — who has been considered the main focus of the Lakers’ rebuilding efforts after being taken as the second overall pick in the 2015 draft — displayed Young admitting that he cheated on his then-fiancée, Azalea, with an ex-girlfriend, who is also mother to Young’s 3-year-old son.

After reports of Russell being frozen out by his teammates in the regular season ensuing the incident, it appears that Young is ready to move on according to a report form the Los Angeles Daily News. 

"“We’re teammates,” Young told the Southern California News Group. “It’s been so long, so it’s kind of old.“We’ll be able to work it out. We’ve already been working it out. It out his what it is. I can’t be mad forever.”"

Young has already lost his fiancée (and most of the belongings from the home he shared with Azalea, as shared by Gilbert Arenas’ Snapchat story), so it appears he may be looking to ensure himself a spot on the Lakers’ roster come opening tip-off.

After averaging a career-low 7.3 points per game and a paltry .003 win shares per 48 minutes in 2015-2016, Young already has something to prove on the court. Butting heads with the team’s promising floor general only gives the Lakers’ front office another reason as to why he shouldn’t suit up in purple and yellow this season.

With Young’s name constantly appearing in trade rumor columns over the years, it’s unlikely the Lakers have been able to find any suitors for the veteran sniper via trade.

It appeared that Russell, who knows his spot on the team is more than safe, moved on from the fiasco months ago. A Foot Locker commercial portrays Russell throwing Ben Simmons’ phone off a balcony.

Young immediately took to Twitter, as he often does, after the commercial first aired.

Young doesn’t often find himself at a shortage of words on Twitter, so it may be safe to assume that one was sarcasm.

A couple months later, and it appears his view of the commercial have changed (via Los Angeles Daily News).

"“I need my commercial now,” Young said, laughing. “I’ll explain what happened to my life.”"

If Young is indeed granted a fresh start, it’ll be under rookie head coach Luke Walton, who is likely to bring the quick-paced offense he ran in Golden State as an assistant coach. Such an offense would be to the benefit of Young, who clashed with former coach Byron Scott.

If the Lakers continue to have little success trading Young, they could still buy out his contract. Young has $11,000,000 and two years remaining on his current contract.