The ongoing saga that is the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room continues to evolve, with the D’Angelo Russell/Nick Young social media issue boiling to new heights late this past week.
The newest twist? Apparently that the Lakers are ready to move on from Nick Young and not Russell this upcoming offseason.
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times points out that Young, the basketball player, is a much easier target for the team to move if it is looking long-term. It’s a move that shouldn’t be surprising considering the past with this team and Young.
The Lakers tried to trade Young, 30, each of the last two seasons as his production dropped. There were no takers. They will likely try to find a home for him again this off-season, which won’t be easy with a player who didn’t even get off the bench in eight games last month.
Russell, while taking a public bruising, is a franchise-level talent and a good piece to build around for the post-Kobe Bryant era. Young is averaging 11.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and is shooting just 3.9 percent from the field this season.
While trading Young seems logical given his limited playing time, there’s a rather large issue with his contract. Young is owed nearly $11 million over the next two years of his contract, with a player option for a third year.
That’s a ton of money to throw around for a part-time player at this point in his career.
What is most likely to happen to resolve the ongoing saga? Don’t be surprised to see Young cut this offseason, given the Lakers still have the ability to use the stretch provision of the new CBA.