WEDNESDAY, 5:06pm: Young has officially opted out, the team announced.
TUESDAY, 12:52pm: Nick Young has let the Lakers know that he’s opting out of his contract for next season to become a free agent in July, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The news is not at all surprising, as Young has appeared likely to opt out since at least March, even as he danced around the issue without giving a definitive answer. He’ll hit the market rather than collect the minimum for next season, but there’s mutual interest in a return.
Still, Young wants the Lakers to make him a “priority” this summer, according to McMenamin, suggesting that he’s angling for a significant raise. Just how much interest the Lakers will have in giving him more than the minimum will likely hinge on their pursuit of marquee targets in free agency. The team has reportedly been considering ways to pair LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in purple-and-gold, and acquiring stars of that ilk would likely erase the cap space necessary to give Young a hefty raise. The Lakers would probably be limited to giving Young a 20% raise via his Non-Bird rights or using the $2.732MM room exception on him.
The 29-year-old Los Angeles native gave his hometown team a discount when he joined the Lakers in free agency last summer, and his numbers benefited from an otherwise injury-hit roster. He averaged a career-high 17.9 points in 28.3 minutes per game as a sixth man, and he shot 38.6% on 5.5 three-point attempts per contest.