The Warriors were rumored to be among the suitors for Young, who experienced somewhat of a renaissance in Los Angeles last season, starting 60 games and shooting better than 40 percent from three for the first time in four seasons. The 32-year-old will slide in as a bench piece for the defending champions and should see his fair share of open looks from three on the best passing team in the league.
Young will decline his $5.6 million player option for the 2017-18 season and become an unrestricted free agent, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports.
After the Lakers dangled Young's name out in trade rumors over the past few years, he had somewhat of a surprise resurgence during the 2016-17 campaign, averaging 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 2.8 three-pointers across 60 games. However, the Lakers are currently shedding contracts and cap space with the hope of landing some big free agents over the next few summers, so it remains to be seen if they'll be willing to re-up Young, who should be able to lock in a raise from the $5.6 million he was slated to make. No matter who picks up Young, he's largely limited to his value as a three-point shooter, as he struggles to offer much elsewhere in the box score.
Unless a barrage of injuries hits the backcourt over the Lakers' final five games, Young isn't expected to leave the bench, an unsurprising development after he had failed to see the court in 11 of the team's last 12 games. Young will join Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng as veterans that the rebuilding Lakers have shut down prematurely in order to get a better glimpse of some of their younger players, with David Nwaba and Tyler Ennis looking like the main beneficiaries of Young being phased out of the rotation. Despite the early end to his season, Young was a pleasant surprise for much of the campaign, as he claimed a starting role out of training camp and went on to average 13.2 points, 2.8 three-pointers, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 25.9 minutes per game over 60 appearances while shooting 43 percent from the field. The veteran recently said that he remains undecided whether or not he'll exercise the $5.7 million opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent this summer.
Coach Luke Walton said Young wouldn't play in Tuesday's game against the Wizards, but hasn't necessarily been shut down for the season, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Walton decided to shut down Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng shortly after the All-Star break in order to get a longer look at some of the team's younger players, and it appears Young could be the next veteran to get phased out. The lottery-bound Lakers have little incentive to find playing time for the 31-year-old at the expense of younger options, so it's expected that Walton will roll with Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, Tyler Ennis and David Nwaba as his primary backcourt options the rest of the way. Young may see some usage off the bench over the final handful of games, but don't expect him to receive meaningful minutes in any of his appearances.
Young was held out of Sunday's game against the Cavaliers with an illness, but it appears he's feeling better after a few extra days off. However, despite being active, coach Luke Walton wouldn't necessarily commit to actually playing Young, so there's a chance he sees very limited minutes, or none at all. With Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell starting at the two guard spots, Young is slated to come off the bench in his return.
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