Just two games into the preseason Los Angeles Lakers first-year head coach Luke Walton is still figuring out his rotations, as well as what guys on the bubble are going to make the roster.
One guy whose role for the season is currently unknown is wingman Nick Young, who is in his fourth season with the team.
Young did not get into the team’s first game, a victory over the Sacramento Kings as Walton played the young players extended minutes.
With starting small forward Luol Deng missing the second game on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets, Walton decided to start Metta World Peace at Deng’s position over Young.
Young did not play in the first half but did get some time on the floor with the starting unit to begin the third quarter. According to Joey Ramirez of NBA.com, Walton was impressed with Young’s ability to space the floor:
“Nick did great,” Walton said. “He gave us some scoring and he helped space the floor, which I’m obviously trying to find ways to do. He knocked down some shots for us.”
Walton also had some compliments for Young’s ability at the defensive end of the floor:
“Nick in his career has at times been a good on-ball defender when he’s bought into it,” Walton said. “He’s a big body that can guard and knock down shots.
“I thought he did a good job of not playing at all in the first game and a half and staying ready, getting out there and knocking some shots down.”
Young had six points in 10 minutes in Friday’s game, knocking down two three-pointers.
With the focus of this season on the development of the team’s young nucleus, it will be interesting to see where Young fits into those plans, or if he even does at all.