One day after the Los Angeles Lakers traded away D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov, veteran shooting guard Nick Young opted out of his player option for the 2017-2018 season, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Young was set to make 5.6 million dollars next season but decided to forgo his contract and test the market in free agency.
The 32-year old had a career year last season under head coach Luke Walton. He averaged 13.2 points per game while shooting 43 percent from 2-point range and 40 percent from beyond the arc.
With the departure of Young and Russell, the Lakers have lost their top two three-point shooters from last season and might lose Jordan Clarkson via trade. The only other guards on the roster are Tyler Ennis and D-League call up – David Nwaba.
Assuming the team selects Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick and completes the trade for Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, the Lakers are still in desperate need of a shooter. The 27th and 28th picks are projected to go to the Pacers in the trade but the Lakers would be smart to try and hold onto one of the selections.
The 2017 draft looks like it could be one of the deepest talent pools in years and there are multiple players the Lakers could select at the end of the first round that could fill a role. Colorado senior guard Derrick White, Terrance Ferguson from Australia or Josh Hart from Villanova would all help from 3-point range and on defense.
If the team is unable to make any other moves in the first round or if they do trade their second and third selections to the Pacers, it would be wise for Magic Johnson to move back into the second round and take a flyer on a boom or bust prospect like Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey, Frank Jackson from Duke or SMU‘s Sterling Brown – the younger brother of former Lakers’ guard Shannon Brown.
General manager Rob Pelinka would also be wise to offer one-year deals to free agent guards that might bet on themselves. Dion Waiters from the Miami Heat, former San Antonio Spur Jonathon Simmons and Tony Snell who played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls all could be on that list.
The Lakers should also stay open to resigning Young if the price is right