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NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Drop Nick Young, Keep D'Angelo Russell; Kobe Bryant Chooses Talent Over Tenure

( [email protected] ) Apr 04, 2016 02:30 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Lakers are at the bottom of the Western Conference which is led by the Golden State Warriors. While Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green attempt to secure their top spot against the likes of Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, the Kobe Bryant team faces a more personal issue. Recent reports revealed that the drama between Nick Young and D'Angelo Russell, which subsequently hurt the former's engagement with singer Iggy Azalea, is getting out of control. In an effort to control the situation, the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly chose to trade Young and keep the rookie.
The Los Angeles Lakers are rumored to be torn between keeping either Nick Young or D'Angelo Russell. Keith Allison/Flickr CC

The Los Angeles Lakers are at the bottom of the Western Conference, which is led by the Golden State Warriors. While Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green attempt to secure their top spot against the likes of Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, the Kobe Bryant team faces a more personal issue. Recent reports revealed that the drama between Nick Young and D'Angelo Russell, which subsequently hurt the former's engagement with singer Iggy Azalea, is getting out of control. To control the situation, the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly chose to trade Young and keep the rookie.

While the video leak, which revealed that Young had been unfaithful to Iggy Azalea, shook the Los Angeles Lakers roster, it appears that the possible departure of the NBA star might not be solely rooted to the said issue. Reports are now surfacing that the Black Mamba's squad has been trying to trade Young for two seasons already. However, no basketball team has expressed sufficient interest to let the deal push through.

"The Lakers tried to trade Young, 30, each of the last two seasons as his production dropped," revealed Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. He further disclosed, "There were no takers. They will likely try to find a home for him again this offseason, which won't be easy with a player who didn't even get off the bench in eight games last month." The contract of Young has two remaining years worth $11.1 million. This deal also has a second-year player option which amounts to $5.7 million.

With the impending free agency and the rumored interest of the Los Angeles Lakers to pursue Kevin Durant once he's free from his Oklahoma City Thunder deal, the Kobe Bryant team undoubtedly wants to free up some cap space. While Young's salary is no match to the one they might offer Durant, the beau of Iggy Azalea has not been performing at par with the expectations of the NBA team. Moreover, the tension with Russell only added to his long list of problems with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Another point of concern is the fact that Byron Scott has been quite vocal about his desire to rebuild the team. That is, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach is targeting to create a highly talented team out of the young rising stars in the roster. This possible super team includes Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr and Russell. If this proves to be the actual plan of Scott, then eliminating Young from the roster would be a good move for the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I'm getting over it," said Russell of the issue involving him, Young and Iggy Azalea. He added, "But if the person that it hurt the most gets over it, then I feel like it's done. Until he lets it simmer down, then I think it will still be an issue."

Meanwhile, Scott thinks that the involved parties are attempting to deal with the issue in a mature way. The Los Angeles Lakers head coach shared that Young and Russell want to resolve matters privately. However, Scott believes that the friendship between the two is damaged.

"At the end of the day, we're all grown men in here," shared Scott. He added, "People make mistakes and you have to understand that and you have to just kind of move on. Now, will they ever be buddy-buddy again? I don't know. But they do have to coexist as long as they're both here, and I think they can."

Tags : NBA rumors, Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young, D'Angelo Russell