NBA News Wire

Lakers’ Young becomes free agent

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Forward Nick Young, coming off the best season of his career, told the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday that he is declining the player option on his contract in order to become a free agent.

Young averaged a career-high and team-leading 17.9 points plus 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 64 games last season, starting nine times. He twice came off the bench to score at least 40 points, and his 18.8-point scoring average as a reserve was the best in the NBA.

“We anticipated and expected that Nick would choose to become a free agent,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement released by the team. “We very much appreciate his contributions to last season’s team, and we will hopefully be able to bring him back. However, he, his agent and the market will dictate his future direction.”

Young spent one year with the Lakers, his fourth team in the past four seasons. A first-round pick of the Wizards in 2007, Young remained in Washington until the 2010-11 season, which he split between the Wizards and the Los Angeles Clippers. He then played 2012-13 with the Philadelphia 76ers before joining the Lakers.

Had Young accepted his player option, he would have earned $1.2 million in 2014-15. Instead he will look for a long-term deal on the free agent market.