Los Angeles Lakers officially sign Nick Young to multi-year deal

July 21, 2014

The Los Angeles Lakers officially signed athletic swingman Nick Young to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Other outlets have reported that the deal is worth $21.5 million over 4 years.

Young, aka "Swaggy P," became a locker room and fan favorite during last year's miserable season due to his laid-back personality and scoring ability.

“When Nick became a free agent in June, I expressed hope that we would be able to bring him back on a contract that was in the best interest of both the Lakers and himself, and I am proud to say we were able to do so,” said Kupchak. “Nick was a bright spot for us last season, and we are happy to retain such a skilled player who is committed to being a part of what we are building as a franchise.”

What is unusual is the length of the deal, as the Lakers have been signing everyone, including star Kobe Bryant, to short term deals.  Young's reported four-year contract, even at its relative bargain price, is a significant commitment for any role player, regardless of his ability to score.

Perhaps management is overrating just how much the fans care for Young.  A guy who can create his own shot on a bad team is fine and entertaining, but on a good team -- the type of squad the fanbase demands -- Young's high-volume shooting and iso-based game is not necessarily the best fit.

Unless he evolves a bit, his best role on a playoff-caliber team will be as a Vinnie Johnson-style scoring Sixth Man who gets major minutes when he's hot, but a quick hook when he's not putting up numbers.

Young had a career year in 2013-14 after originally signing with the Lakers as a free agent. The Los Angeles native averaged a career-high 17.9 points in his first season in the purple-and-gold, twice hitting the 40-point mark, and led the team in scoring a team-best 22 times.

In a predominantly bench role (nine starts in 64 games), Young averaged 18.8 points as a reserve, ranking him first in the NBA for points per game among players who came off the bench 20 or more times. Young also led the league in four-point plays last season (seven, also a Lakers franchise record) and finished third in the NBA in points per touch (0.45).

After a three-year collegiate career at USC, the seven-year pro was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 16th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. Young was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in March 2012 and played the following season (2012-13) for the Philadelphia 76ers.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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