Nick Young was the most effective Los Angeles Laker last season while Kobe Bryant sat out healing. Young put up good numbers on the court (a career high 17.9 points per game) and was rewarded over the summer with some good numbers for his bank account. (He signed a four-year, $21.5 million deal.) But Kobe Bryant is back and in early scrimmages Young is playing on the second team. That second team looks pretty formidable. With Jeremy Lin at point guard and Kentucky standout Julius Randle (the rookie with unlimited potential) upfront, the second team took 1 out of 3 scrimmages from the starting five yesterday, according to the LA Times. There are three options for Nick Young from here: he will either ascend to the starting rotation, begin leading the second team to 2 out of 3, or be known primarily as Iggy Azalea’s boyfriend. Expect option #1 or #2.
Head coach Byron Scott, in his first year with the Lakers (as head coach, that is), hopes Young will come off the bench and give the Lakers a Manu Ginobli-type pop–the kind used so effectively by current NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. But every player in the NBA wants to start. And the hungry players currently relegated to the second team on the Lakers’ roster are going to push hard to keep the lineups volatile. Lots of people, for instance, believe that Jeremy Lin starting at point is the only way the Lakers can play the long season and prosper–given Steve Nash’s age (40). The Lakers figure to show a bunch of different starting lineups before the season is through. So long as it’s not injuries that force the lineup adjustments, the Lakers season might not end early–like it did last year.