Nick Young came into the 2014-15 season with high hopes after signing a new four-year deal in the off-season. However, the year started with him sidelined with a thumb injury while a knee injury caused him to miss additional games during the season. Young only appeared in 42 games, missing just over half of the Lakers’ games.
When he was in games, he struggled forming any consistency in his scoring and overall effort. Lakers head coach Byron Scott often chastised Young and expected him to improve his game in order to get more playing time. Young recently sat down with Drew Ruiz of SLAM Magazine and discussed working on his off-ball ability:
Yeah, most definitely, especially if we get someone in free agency. I know I might have to play off the ball a lot. Hey man, I might have to get my JR Smith role on. [Laughs]
One of the biggest criticisms surrounding Young is his tendency to put up shot after shot often taking many dribbles to do so. What often occurs is the offense gets stalled as Young plays with the basketball. Scott would like to see Young get his shot off quicker and get better at coming off screens for catch-and-shoot situations.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ JR Smith was seen as the same way but has tuned his game while helping his team reach the NBA Finals. If Young could provide the similar help, he would become a valuable piece for the Lakers once again, especially off the bench.
Young’s future with the Lakers seems questionable at the moment, however. Earlier reports indicated the team was looking to shop Young’s contract around. Young mentioned he has not received any clarity regarding the situation but is looking forward to getting back on the court regardless.