The constant trade chatter left Nick Young in a funk, the player known as “Swaggy P” trying to come to grips on why the Lakers wanted to move him.
Young is still with the Lakers, and he hopes to finish out the three years left on a four-year, $21.5-million contract he signed last summer.
It has been a “little bit” difficult for Young to ignore the trade nose.
“It’s been tough at times,” Young said Sunday after his game-winning three-pointer as time expired in double overtime helped his team, Most Hated Players, defeat a team called Problems in the pro-am Drew League at King Drew High.
“I still stayed in the gym, still did what I was supposed to do, trying to block out everything and just still have fun. You never know what’s going to happen — especially in free agency when you hear your name in ever rumor and in every trade talk. It feels like Pau Gasol.”
He remembered how Gasol’s last season with the Lakers in 2013-14 was full of trade rumors.
Young smiled and said that he “can already see that” same scenario happening with him this season.
But Young also said he was “curious to see” how Kobe Bryant “is feeling” after having right rotator cuff surgery.
Young has spoken several times with Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager, with Kupchak telling Young the Lakers signed Lou Williams, NBA sixth man of the year winner, to a three-year, $21-million deal because the team needed talent and not because it was a slight toward Young.
“Lou is my guy,” Young said. “So it should be all right.”
Young said he has been training hard this summer, doing all the things Lakers Coach Byron Scott wanted him to work on — weight lifting, shooting, ball handling and working without the ball in his hands. on coming off screens.
Scott and Young had their issues last season, but Young said the second go-round should better.
“It’s all about being a pro,” said Young, who was fined multiple times last season by Scott for arriving late to games. “I think that this year should be better. Last year, we had a lot going on with the team so there was a lot of frustration. A fresh start now. So it should be all right.”