One of the early season candidates for NBA Comeback Player of the Year has to be Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young, who after playing in just 54 games last season and averaging 7.3 points, has bounced back and become the starting shooting guard for the Lakers playing exceptionally.
Young started just two games last season under head coach Byron Scott, and this past offseason there were talks of the Lakers potentially waiving him to make room on the roster for a younger player.
Young had other plans though, as he worked hard this past offseason to prove that he can still bring value.
After an exceptional training camp and preseason, Young earned a starting spot under first-year head coach Luke Walton and has started each of the team’s 13 games this season.
According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Walton has not been shocked by how well Young has played so far this season, and he expects him to continue to play well every game:
“I don’t think it’s a shock, and, yes, I do expect him to play this way night in and night out,” Walton said. “He’s our starting shooting guard.”
The 31-year-old has averaged 14.1 points on 46.2 percent shooting and 37.9 percent from three-point range. He has also made 28 of 29 free throws on the season.
Young, being one of the older players on the roster, has also done a good job being a role model to the young players. Not known as a defensive player, Young has put in a solid effort at the defensive end of the floor this season.
He signed a four-year deal with the Lakers after the 2013-14 season, so after this year he has one year left on his contract.