Nick Young knows if he picks up his player option and returns to the Lakers, he’ll be signing up for another year of the Lakers rebuild, taking a backseat to that goal. He also knows it’s possible another bombastic personality will become part of the franchise.
“If we get the top-three pick, we might have the Ball family come in here talking crazy,” Young said, smiling. “It’s kind of hard when you got a Ball family and a Swaggy P talking crazy. Kind of too much.”
That’s a reference to the family of former UCLA star Lonzo Ball, believed by some to be the top point guard in this year’s draft.
It’s not Ball himself who does most of what Young calls talking crazy. Ball’s father, LaVar, has made many wild proclamations, like suggesting that Lonzo is a better player than Stephen Curry, claiming that he himself could have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one, and engaging in a verbal back-and-forth with LeBron James.
Young enjoys making wild proclamations, too. He walked into his exit interview with reporters and declared that the Lakers had just offered him a $150-million, lifetime contract. Later he joked that the Lakers new president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, begged him to stay, but Young resisted and said, “We’ll see.”
In all seriousness, while Young has enjoyed seeing the growth of his young teammates tremendously, he isn’t sure whether being with them is what he wants for his future.
“I’ll be more of a vet here,” Young said. “But at my age, I don’t know if I kind of want to sit around and wait for another team to progress and grow. [I] kind of want to be on a playoff team and see what happens.”
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli