Is Nick Young still on the Trading Block?
At the start of the 2016 NBA season, it was surprising and shocking to see Nick Young still dawn a Lakers uniform, let alone be starting for them.
Last season, Young was buried on the bench under previous head coach Byron Scott and was thrown in the middle of the Kobe Bryant farewell tour, which every Laker player had to endure. To stir the pot even more, the Lakers locker room was divided due to the D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young snapchat beef.
The Lakers have now moved on from the chains of old Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott and have accepted and embraced the youth movement under the new regime led by Luke Walton. Nick Young has since forgiven Russell for his mistakes and is now in the starting lineup with him.
The Lakers pushed hard to try and trade Young during the off-season, going as far as to waive the NBA journeyman if they couldn’t trade him.
However, Young has reinvented himself as a solid off-ball threat for the Lakers posting a solid 12.4 points in 25.6 minutes per game. The self-proclaimed “Uncle P” has transformed from a ball dominant gunner to a terrific spot up shooter to coexist alongside Russell.
Despite the rejuvenated season that Young is currently having, is he still on the trading block? It’s hard to argue that his trade value is significantly higher than it was last season as he has shown that he can now play within a system rather than be a ball stopper.
For the Lakers, everyone is expendable excluding the young players like Russell, Clarkson, Randle, Ingram, Nance. Jr, and maybe Tarik Black and Ivica Zubac.
Despite a bounce back season, he is still an inefficient shooter, only shooting 40.4% from the field and 34.4% from three. He is also a limited playmaker, only averaging 0.8 dimes per night. Although vastly improved, Young still lacks in the defensive department.
It’s not a matter of who, but will any team want to trade any of their assets for a 31-year-old one-dimensional shooter who is still significantly flawed in that department as well? If the Lakers were going to trade Young, they would most likely try to acquire draft picks and/or young talent to build alongside their already impressive core. It seems hard to believe that any team would give up such for Young.
If a team were to trade for Young, it would most likely be a title contender right now looking for a strong bench contributor to provide some scoring. However, most of those teams are already either packed with talent that just don't want to trade or flat out don’t need him.
The Warriors already have enough shooting, the Spurs, Celtics, and Raptors already have enough at the wing, the Cavaliers have J.R. Smith, and the Clippers don’t seem willing to have a reunion with Young.
Maybe the Grizzlies would trade for Young, who have been in dire need of shooting for their whole entire existence, or maybe the Bulls, who have built their team predicated on the belief of non-shooting.
As of right now, the Lakers seem content with Young on their roster. He’s established terrific chemistry with the youthful members of the ball club and has been the best complimentary player alongside Russell, who the Lakers have invested their future upon. If they were to trade him, they would have to be blown away from the offer that they can't just pass up. I just don’t believe that a team would make that type of offer.
If that’s the case, Laker fans won’t mind more Uncle P for the year.