Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young was all smiles in his Jamie Foxx inspired hairdo, surrounded by friends and family after he knocked down a game-winning three-point buzzer beater in double overtime, securing another win for M.H.P (Most Hated Players) over Problems at the Drew League on Sunday afternoon.
But, it hasn’t been all smiles for Young this summer, who admitted that being at the forefront of so many trade talks was definitely challenging for him at times. Young’s mind was put a little at ease, though, after general manager Mitch Kupchak called him after the Lakers signed Lou Williams, to assure him that the signing was by no means a “slap in the face” but rather out of a necessity for players and talent.
Williams played a near identical role on the Toronto Raptors last season, with his high energy and score-first mentality that earned him NBA Sixth Man Of The Year honors. At King Drew Magnet High School over the weekend, Young said he doesn’t foresee there being any problem with playing alongside Williams, though he is hoping his role might change a bit this season.
I would like to start,” Young said when asked about his preference of starting or coming off the bench. “It would be good to change the role…but I’m ready for whatever.”
Young also clarified that he will be prepared for any role Byron Scott envisions him in next season, though due to the current roster he does expect to play more three than two, which he says he feels comfortable with.
In addition to signing Williams this summer, the Lakers also have a roster full of young guards in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Anthony Brown and Jabari Brown, which Young watched on the Lakers Summer League squad. Despite being disappointed with their record in Las Vegas, Young said he could tell from watching Summer League that Russell has good court vision.
Looking ahead to next season, Young says he’s talked with the coaching staff about working off the ball and cleaning up his ball handling (dribbling less). He’s also looking forward to a fresh start after admitting to frustrations last season. He’s not ready to make any predictions or guarantee playoff hopes, but is looking forward to training camp and creating a new team chemistry.