The Nick Young era of the Los Angeles Lakers has likely come to an end. Young opted out of his contract with the team this summer to play for a playoff-bound squad or a title contender. The veteran guard also is hoping to cash in after a solid season and potentially secure his long-term future in the league with one last lucrative deal.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Young could be headed to the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors:
A serious candidate for a portion of Golden State's $5.2M exception, per ESPN sources: Free agent guard Nick Young.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2017
The Lakers reportedly contacted Young once NBA free agency began this month to gauge his interest in returning to Los Angeles. It doesn’t seem likely that he’ll remain in purple and gold despite his love for the franchise and his hometown.
Golden State, however, provides Young to play for a legitimate title contender and he could flourish under Steve Kerr in Oakland. Young resurrected his career in Luke Walton’s system last year and may be able to continue playing at a high level in a similar system up in the Bay Area.
Young has also received interest from the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both of those teams would likely give him more playing time and a lucrative long-term deal, but playing for a title in a winning atmosphere on arguably the best team in the league may be an opportunity he won’t want to pass up on.
The 32-year-old played the last four seasons in Los Angeles. Young played in 60 games for the Lakers this past season averaging 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game. The veteran guard shot an impressive 40.4 percent from beyond the arc and 43 percent from the floor.