Los Angeles Lakers wing Nick Young made headlines yesterday when he announced he was trying to fix his relationship with sophomore point guard D’Angelo Russell. Young and Russell infamously were at the center of discord in the team’s locker room this past season when video of Young admitting to infidelity Russell recorded leaked, leading to teammates reportedly “isolating” Russell.
On a human level, Russell and Young settling their differences will probably be positive for both of them. As far as the Lakers are concerned, however, it may not make a difference.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Young’s olive branch hasn’t made the team any less eager to move on from Young (Transcription via Thai Luong of Lakers Outsiders):
“[The Lakers] have been trying to trade [Young] for a while,” Ding said in a Bleacher Report Video. “They are still trying to trade him. They are willing to even buy him out if necessary to move on.
“Nick did bring a legitimate breath of fresh air a couple of years ago with his energy and his real pride in being a Laker when the team was terrible,” Ding continued. “Unfortunately, Nick sort of became terrible and that is why they are ready to move on from him.”
The Lakers moving on from Young anyway isn’t exactly a shock. As Ding mentioned, Young’s production hardly merits keeping him around even if things are peachy keen between he and Russell.
His poor play seems unlikely the Lakers will find a trade suitor for Young, meaning the team will either attempt to buy him out or waive him via the stretch provision if they make the deicsion they absolutely need to part ways.
If the Lakers decide to stretch Young, it would leave the team with $2.2 million in dead money on their cap for the next five years, which may not be a huge issue with the cap projected to rise above $100 million next season.
Whatever method they opt to part ways via, it sounds like the “Swaggy-P era” is all but over in Los Angeles.
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