After initially deciding Young’s playing status on a game-to-game basis, the Lakers have since decided to effectively shut the 31-year-old Young for the last five regular-season games, according to sources familiar with the situation.
There were many indications that the Lakers were trending in that direction with Young being a healthy scratch for 11 out of the last 12 games in favor of the younger players on the team getting more playing time. That said, the door is still open to him seeing action in the case of an injury.
Young joins fellow veteran players center Timofey Mozgov and forward Luol Deng as players being healthy shut downs for the final stretch of the season. These moves could easily be perceived as the team tanking toward finishing near the bottom of the standings in order to retain their first-round pick that must fall in the top three selections or it will go to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Young has put together a productive season for Los Angeles averaging 13.2 points on 43 percent shooting from the field, including 40.4 percent from beyond the arc in 25.9 minutes per game. He also set a franchise record with 36 made three pointers over an eight-game stretch from Dec. 17 to Jan. 1 while shooting 56.3 percent from distance.
The 31-year-old has a major decision to make this upcoming summer with a player option worth $5.7 million for next season. He had recently stated that he is still undecided on that looming decision.
Bob Garcia IV
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