Lakers Nation Debate: How Much Is Nick Young Worth?
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Topic: Nick Young is arguably the most popular player on the team right now. Today we examine how much Nick Young is worth and what is the maximum amount the Lakers should pay him?

Context: As the Lakers attempt to build their roster back into a championship contender, they have a number of intriguing options that they could choose to bring back next year.

The most popular among those players is Nick Young, aka Swaggy P. Young is the team’s leading scorer, excels at coming off the bench, and is great in the locker room. However, he is still a role player and the Lakers have big free agent ambitions that they can not afford to sacrifice.

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One of the biggest mistakes a team can make is overpaying role players. The Lakers, in particular are targeting big-name free agents in 2015 and 2016, and must maintain the cap room necessary to pursue them.

Of course all championship teams have excellent role players. The Lakers are known for stars, but it’s guys like Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Michael Cooper, and Byron Scott who played huge roles in making the Lakers champions.

Nick Young has the skill set to be a contributor on a championship team, and he wants to be a Laker, but where should the team draw the line?

Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our fans what is the maximum that the Lakers should pay Nick Young to remain with the team, here are some of the responses:

It was a little surprising to see the fans stay in the $3-4 million range for the most part. While most acknowledge Young’s importance, very few are willing to break the bank for Young, which speaks to the overall intelligence of Lakers fans.

Young has the chance to be a gunner off the bench, much like Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers and J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks. So it only makes sense to consider what those guys are getting paid.

Crawford’s contract goes as high as just below $5.7 million while Smith’s goes as high as $6.4 million. That gives us a good idea of what Young could command in the open market.

In the end, the Lakers keeping Young will have as much to do with what other teams are willing to pay him as well, but he has indicated that he would take less money to stay in Los Angeles.

The Lakers must be careful, but giving Young a three-year deal in the $4-5 million range would be beneficial to both sides, and not cripple the Lakers salary cap.
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