By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While Swaggy P bathes in the attention of the uncertainty, Nick Young has made up his mind to opt out of his contract with the Lakers and become a free agent this summer, he strongly indicated to NBA.com.
Holding off on a definitive statement, Young made it clear Wednesday after the Lakers lost to the Kings at Sleep Train Arena that he is going to void the 2014-15 contract at $1.2 million, aiming for a much larger salary after boosting his stock this season with 17.3 points a game.
Asked if he has made up his mind, Young said, “A little bit. It’s a mystery, though. I’ve got to keep y’all on your toes. That’s what Swaggy P does.”
Not much of a mystery, though. He doesn’t see himself as a $1.2-million player.
“Oh, no,” Young said. “Not at all. Most definitely. I deserve much more than that.”
And Swaggy P wants to have a lot of teams chasing him.
“Yeah,” Young/P said. “He most definitely does. And I believe a lot will. That’s a solid answer right there.”
That’s hardly a surprising outcome after Young went from an absence of attractive offers in summer 2013 to a season of taking advantage of what has been a 2013-14 of misery all around him. Barely any Kobe Bryant, barely any Steve Nash, a lot nights without Pau Gasol, a rare trip to the lottery for the franchise. And Young could finish as the leading scorer on the Lakers. He could even finish with a career high, ahead of the 17.4 in 2010-11 with the Wizards.
He will draw far more attention this summer than he did last season. He will love that. But the ideal outcome, the USC product said, is to remain in his hometown with a new contract with the Lakers.
“Most definitely I want to stay home,” Young said. “With the changes I see, they’re going to do some big things this summer. Of course I want to be a part of a championship program and get a chance to compete next year. But we’re just going to see what happens. I’ve got to sit down with my agent and see what happens this summer.”