After the 2015-16 NBA season had come to an end with Kobe Bryant’s epic 60-point finale, the consensus was Nick Young had played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were rumored to have put Young on the trading block and with most expecting him to be a dealt or waived before the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
Young, however, had different plans. The veteran swingman has resurrected his career after the worst season of his career. The 31-year-old has gone from a player that was being shown the door to a starter and one of Luke Walton’s most valuable veterans.
Young talked about this season under Walton and how he’s turned things around after what seemed to be the beginning of the end of his NBA career, via Bill Oram of OC Register:
“This is most definitely a redemption year,” Young said. “That’s why I’ve been working so hard; I believe in myself, believe that I’ve got talent. There were just certain situations that made me take steps backwards.”
With Young stepping up his game on both ends of the floor, the journeyman has made everyone forgot about how last season ended. Walton has had high praise for Young after seeing his determination to be the best basketball player he can be for the Lakers.
In 10 games so far this season, Young has defied odds while proving his worth as one of the better players on the Lakers roster. Young is averaging 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game.
Young is coming off a season in which he was shooting a career-worst 33.9 percent from the floor and 32.5 from three-point range. Now, Young has improved those numbers to a field goal percentage of 47.6 and 40.3 from beyond the arc.
Along with Young making an impact on the floor and an impression on his new coach, the Lakers have been playing much better than expected this season. Los Angeles is sitting at 6-4 with a lot of optimism surrounding the team.
Fresh off a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers will play their final game of their three-game road trip on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves in hopes of winning their seventh game of the season.