Nick Young signed with Lakers because of role, not hometown ties

USA TODAY Sports

This time, the Lakers benefit from "basketball reasons."

Nick Young signed a two-year, $2.3 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month, leaving the Philadelphia 76ers for his hometown team. Young played his college ball for the USC Trojans and went to high school in the Los Angeles area, so a homecoming made sense for the unrestricted free agent.

But Young also could have signed with the Lakers last offseason and chose not to, instead opting to sign with the Lakers now because, unlike last offseason, he actually envisions an opportunity to contribute, he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

"They had Dwight [Howard], [Steve] Nash and Antawn Jamison," Young said in an interview with this newspaper recently after playing in the Drew League at King-Drew Magnet High School in downtown Los Angeles. "I didn't want to just be another guy on the bench. I felt like I wouldn't have been a good fit."

Young said the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings were suitors this offseason, but the Mavericks acquired Monta Ellis — both players come cast from the mold of scorers with triggers quicker than quick — and Young said the Kings' ultimately futile pursuit of Ellis signaled to him they weren't the team for him.

Besides, Young has played for a hometown team before. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2012, played 22 games there and left in free agency for Philadelphia.

He averaged 10.6 points per game last season on 41.3-percent shooting.

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