Nick Young Opts Out, Becomes Free Agent

Nick Young opting out of his contract hardly came as a shock

Only one day after deciding to end of the D'Angleo Russell era, the Los Angeles Lakers conceivably also witnessed the end of the "Swaggy P" era.

On Wednesday, Young opted out of the final year of his contract with the Lakers and became an unrestricted free agent. Unlike the Russell and Mozgov trade, which expects to be finalized on Thursday, this move hardly came as a shock.

Following his exit interview at the conclusion of the season, Young even joked with reporters, "They was [sic] begging me to stay, but I as like, 'Magic, we'll see.'"

As he exited the room laughing, Young dropped a clear hint of his intentions, "I'll see ya'll when I come back and play against ya'll next year."

Suffice to say, Wednesday's announcement that Young was opting out of his contract to test the free agency waters did not cause any heart attacks. Ultimately, though, the losses of Young and Russell mean that the Lakers have lost both halves of their starting back court.

Likely, Lonzo Ball out of UCLA will assume one of those roles if he is the Lakers' pick at no. 2 in Thursday's NBA Draft, but LA still needs shooters and a partner for Ball.

Young and Russell were two of only three Lakers to average two or more three-point makes per game during the 2016-17 season. The third player was Lou Williams, who was traded prior to February's trade deadline, so LA has lost its three most consistent three-point scorers at a time when the NBA seemingly relies more on the three-point shot than ever before.

Young, incredibly, shot 40.4 percent from three-point land during the 2016-17 season, which likely played into why he opted out of $5.7 million guaranteed. Likely cashing in for bigger pay day and a longer term contract at age 32 should have made Young's decision to terminate his contract an easy call.

While Young's four years in LA featured far more losing than anything else since the Lakers played out the four worst seasons in the history of the franchise since moving to LA, a combined record of 91-237, the Lakers will need to find a replacement for "Swaggy P" either via the draft or free agency.

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