Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday announced that veteran guard Nick Young has decided to opt out of the $5.6 million player option for the 2017-18 season making him an unrestricted free agent.
It was the final year of his four-year, $21.3 million deal with Los Angeles. He has spent the last four seasons with the team averaging 13.1 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the field and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc in 24.5 minutes per game.
Following a disappointing season, Young revitalized his NBA career last year by putting together one of his most efficient shooting campaigns where he averaged 13.2 points on 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 40.4 percent from 3-point range. This includes setting the franchise record with 36 made 3-pointers over an eight-game span topping the previous mark of 33 held by Young and Nick Van Exel (January 1995).
During this stretch, Young recorded a career-high eight made 3-pointers in a 32-point effort against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 17, which was also his only 30-point outing of the season. He also scored in double figures 26 times along with notching 20 or more points 11 times.
The 32-year-old’s decision to hit the free-agent doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that he could be in line for a significant pay raise on a potentially a long-term deal. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN is reporting that Young is unlikely to receive a new deal from the Lakers this summer.
The Lakers would have loved to have Swaggy back this year, but it's all about cap space next year. Unlikely they'd give him a new deal
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 21, 2017
This may open the door to the team looking to adding a replacement through the draft on Thursday night with one of their three first rounds picks or free agency next month.