The Los Angeles Lakers can further improve its young roster by giving away Nick Young. The mercurial shooting guard has become an unnecessary baggage for a team hoping to create a new identity.
Young is set to be paid a paltry $5.4 million next season. This is a cheap bargain in today’s salary-inflated NBA. His contract, which has a player option for the 2017-18 season, is particularly appealing to salary-cap stricken teams. At the top of that list is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The reigning, defending NBA champions are way beyond the salary cap limit. Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is hell-bent on keeping LeBron James happy. He has no choice but to “keep the band together,” even if it means paying a luxury tax penalty worth $3.2 million next year.
According to King James Gospel, a trade involving Nick Young would benefit both the Lakers and Cavaliers. The Lakers would get a solid defender in Iman Shumpert, while the Cavaliers would acquire J.R. Smith’s possible replacement.
Young is every bit the streaky shooter as Smith, but at a cheaper rate. It can be remembered that Smith has yet to sign a contract extension with the Cavaliers. He is demanding a $15 million per year salary, something the team couldn’t procure as of the moment.
Despite its already formidable lineup, the Cavaliers still need additional scoring off the bench. The team will be playing eighteen back-to-back games next season. Young would act as LeBron’s primary backup.
For the trade to work, the Lakers must part ways with Larry Nance Jr. The second-generation leaper is on his rookie deal, which guarantees him $1.2 million for next season, Basketball Reference listed.
Nance Jr. would be a good pickup for LeBron and company. His father was a Cavaliers legend, who much like him, dazzled the crowd and demoralized opponents with rim-rattling highlight plays. The Cavaliers need fresh legs in the front court as Channing Frye and Chris Anderson are well beyond their primes.