Nick Young quickly became a Staples Center and Lakernation fan favorite last season, with his swag(gy) style and flair. While his re-signing with the team was a bit surprising, it was welcome with open arms.
Despite his breakout season, we were never gifted the opportunity to see Swaggy P and Kobe Bryant together on the court save for a six-game stretch with Bryant less than 100%.
However, with his return, Young is ready to play alongside Bryant.
Nick Young on his 4-year deal: “Kobe is still Batman, but he need a little help!” (on
Based on last season’s production, Swaggy would make a great “Robin” to Bryant’s “Batman.” Nearly across the board, Young’s season last year was his best, most notably posting a career high in Player Efficiency Rating (16.0), true shooting percentage (56.4%), and efficient field goal percentage (51.1%).
Bryant has never had a back court teammate like Young, who can successfully create shots for himself and score 20 points on any given night. Whether Young can replicate last year’s performance is uncertain, but if the Lakers are to make any type of run at the playoffs, they’ll need Swaggy P to match or surpass last year’s production.
It’s also uncertain if Young will start or come off the bench. While the Lakers are thin at the small forward position, Young was significantly better off the bench last season, averaging 18.8 points (compared to 12.3 as starter) and shooting 44% from the field (compared to 37.1%). Whether he starts the game or not, you can expect Swaggy to be on the floor a good chunk of time and likely finish the game on the floor for the Lakers.
Tell us below if you think the Lakers should start Young beside Bryant or bring him off the bench to help keep Bryant’s minutes down.