It has been nearly a month since Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young has seen playing time on the basketball court. Between shooting struggles and finding himself in and out of the rotation, Young has averaged a season worst 7.3 points per game (on 33.9 percent shooting) in his 54 games played this season. To make matters worse, Young made national headlines this week after the video leak heard around the world.
Though the 10-year NBA veteran has attended practices this week, head coach Byron Scott says the normally jovial ‘Swaggy P’ has been noticeably reserved, even mentally checked out.
“I know what he’s going through and I know it’s hard on him, but right now he’s not here with us mentally,” Scott said on Monday. “There’s no need for me to put him out there on the floor right now.”
Young is in the second year of a four-year deal, with the final year being a player option. Rumors surfaced this week that the Lakers unsuccessfully attempted to trade Young over the past two seasons and will look to find him a new home this summer.
“This is probably the icing on the cake, as far as about as tough as it can be,” Scott said about Young’s season. “He didn’t get off to a great start, and his shooting is not what it has been in the past.”
Young had his best season of his career in his first season with the Lakers (2012-13) averaging 17.9 points per game on 43.5 percent shooting, with 2.1 made three-pointers per game. Young’s production dropped off the following season, averaging only 13.4 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting, and he also suffered a knee injury which forced him to miss the majority of the latter half of the season.
This will be the third consecutive season the Lakers have missed the playoffs and there will be a lot of pressure on the front office to make big moves this summer. Whether Young is in the Lakers plans remains to be seen, but right now that seems unlikely.