One of the biggest surprises of this season for the Los Angeles Lakers was the re-emergence of veteran guard Nick Young. Many believed he would be released or traded last summer, but he came to training camp and played so well during the preseason that he earned the starting shooting guard role.
Once the regular season began, Young’s great play continued as he has averaged 13.2 points this season while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range. Young’s resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time as he has the ability to opt-out of his contract after this season.
According to Tania Ganguli of the LA Times, Young is still undecided about what he will do this summer:
Asked Nick Young if he plans to opt-out of his contract this summer. Said he hasn't decided, but would love to be here/see young guys' grow.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 31, 2017
Young’s player option for next season is slightly under $5.7 million. When Young signed his original contract it was looked at as pretty good value for him, but with the recent salary cap spike he is a bargain at that price and would likely be due for a nice raise should he decide to opt-out.
If he were to opt-out, Young could definitely return to the Lakers and as Ganguli noted, Young would love to stick around with this Lakers’ young core. He has clearly developed a relationship with these players and staying along as they grow is an intriguing option. The fact that Young is from the area and loves being a Lakers will also obviously play a role.
This off-season will be a big one for the Lakers. The first summer with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka at the helm, the franchise will be looking turn things around and get back on that road to contention. Whether Young will be along for the ride remains to be seen.