Given recent events, the Lakers shouldn’t have a problem parting ways with Nick Young.
Looking at the way the blame all somehow shifted only on D’Angelo Russell following a leaked video of Nick Young admitting to being unfaithful, it’s time for both sides of the fiasco to own up to their wrongdoing.
Since addressing the media before Los Angeles took on the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Russell seemed sincere about wanting to put the whole thing behind him.
Recently describing Russell as a “cornerstone” of what the Lakers have to look forward to down the road, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports insists that this whole incident will haunt Russell for a while.
Wojnarowski also says that “the larger issue remains how his teammates — current and future — will accept him.”
It’s important to note how Russell continues to approach the aftermath of an avoidable situation, but when looking at Nick Young’s side of things, it’s hard to come up with any good excuses.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Young and Clarkson allegedly made inappropriate gestures to women in a car next to theirs. After further investigation, the Lakers couldn’t find evidence to further look into the incident, with the Los Angeles Times noting the investigation as “inconclusive.”
Young’s decline isn’t just off the court, though, as his production and contribution to the team continues to become less and less noticeable.
Strikingly, Young’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2013-14 season wasn’t bad at all.
Playing in a bench role, Young was still able to play 28 minutes per game while dropping a stat line average of 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Following that season, a year that had Young only starting in nine games for the Lakers, he fell off the map.
In the 2014-15 campaign, Young didn’t get a single start and got four less minutes of playing time on average, while also seeing his points average drop by a factor of four.
This year, he’s averaging less than eight points a game, plays less than 20 minutes per game, and has only started twice.
D’Angelo Russell, on the other hand, is still seen as part of the blueprint for the franchise’s future.
It’s uncertain if Los Angeles could get anything valuable for Young if they were to explore the option of trading him, but even then they can cut him when the season is over — it’d be only fitting.
Focusing on D’Angelo Russell’s continued development instead of Nick Young’s antics will serve the team better in the long run.
Young has played eight years in the league, with what appear to be his better years behind him.
In regards to the recorded conversation, Russell is still at fault for being immature and recording the ordeal, but comparing what Russell did to what Young admits in the video and has been involved in recently, it’s apples and oranges.
If Los Angeles really believes in D’Angelo Russell as much as they’ve said that they do, this video incident isn’t about taking sides of one of the players — it’s doing what’s best for everyone involved.