Los Angeles Lakers rumors [VIDEO]: Nick Young departing the team through free agency? 'You never know what happens'

Mike Smollins
By Mike Smollins @MikeSmollins
on Apr 11, 2014 11:17 AM EDT
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High-scoring guard Nick Young has enjoyed his first year with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, but the free agent-to-be also realizes that he may be leaving the team this summer amidst a whirlwind of changes that are expected to arise for the purple and gold this offseason.

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Young can opt out of his $1.2 million for next season at the end of this one and could possibly be planning to leave the Lakers for another team this summer. Young has lived out a dream by playing for the Lakers, but doesn't know if his days in a L.A. uniform are coming to a close.

"I always wanted to be a Laker and it will be a dream come true to still be here, but it's crazy," Young said after practice Thursday, according to ESPN. "You never know what happens. Last year they had a whole different team. It's obvious they're going to make some changes."

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The Lakers expect an overhaul this offseason, with coach Mike D'Antoni's future in question and 11 of 15 players currently playing on expiring contracts. Management has been mum on their future plans regarding their head coach and talent, but general manager Mitch Kupchak said that star Kobe Bryant won't have a say in the team's plans this summer.

According to his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Young took a discount to play for Los Angeles this season and could have commanded more money, such as the $6 million deal he had with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012-13.

"His value is certainly much greater than what the contract is," Bartelstein said via ESPN. "There's no question about that. But our goal is to sit down with [Kupchak] and hopefully work something out so Nick can be with the Lakers for a long time."

Young is also hopeful to remain a Laker.

"This is home," Young said per ESPN. "I would love to finish off here as a Laker. My kids get to go to school and say, 'My dad is a Laker.' That's big."

Young has been in the league for seven years and played with three other teams, but he said playing for Los Angeles is an interesting experience.

"It's a big difference than being on any other team," Young told ESPN. "You're always in the spotlight. Everybody knows who the Lakers are. And it's a lot of pressure, but you got to be able to handle that. Some people can't, but I think I'm one of them guys that can."

Young leads the Lakers in scoring by averaging career-high 17.5 points per game, along with 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists. The team is 25-53, amounting to its most loses since moving out to Los Angeles in 1960 and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Despite the team's struggles, Young is hopeful to iron something out.

"I'm very confident," Young said about returning to the Lakers per ESPN. "I think we're going to come to some kind of agreement and hopefully it happens. We just got to see what they're going to do."

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