Nick Young shocked a lot of people around the league when signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. Despite the Lakers’ financial problems, Young still agreed to join the club and will only make around $1.1 million next season, a considerable drop from the $5.6 million he made last year with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Turns out, though, that Young could’ve been a Laker last year if Kupchak hadn’t hit so many “home runs” – Young decided against signing with the Lakers in 2013 as he felt his role would’ve been diminished, according to Mark Medina:
[pullquote]Young and the Lakers expressed mutual interest last season, too. But those talks never materialized into anything.
“They had Dwight [Howard], [Steve] Nash and Antawn Jamison,” Young said in an interview with this newspaper recently after playing in the Drew League at King-Drew Magnet High School in downtown Los Angeles. “I didn’t want to just be another guy on the bench. I felt like I wouldn’t have been a good fit.”[/pullquote]
Young also revealed that both the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings showed interest in him, yet he always felt the Lakers were the best fit.
During meetings with Mitch Kupchak and Mike D’Antoni, Young was told to simply “play his game” next season:
[pullquote]In case Young didn’t see any of this writing on the wall, both Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and D’Antoni talked with Young in a meeting he described as “all positive.”
“He was telling me to play my game,” Young said of Kupchak. “When I talked with the coach, he said the same thing. They’re looking for young athletic guys out there. They just said for me to ball.”[/pullquote]
Young should fit in perfectly in D’Antoni’s system and will likely see a rise in minutes from the 23.5 minutes per game he averaged with the Los Angeles Clippers and the 23.9 per game he saw with the Sixers. When he last saw meaningful minutes with the Washington Wizards in 2010-11 at 31.8 minutes per game, Young averaged 17.4 points a night, though he did also put up 14.6 shots per outing.