First, a disclaimer: a deal for Nick Young is highly unlikely because, well, it’s Nick Young, but the cap logic is sound. If Danny Ainge can find a deal that consolidates the roster by adding a low-risk, high-reward vet for some young players that could be training camp cuts, he’d surely take a hard look at it. So, here’s the skinny on Swaggy P’s dwindling days in Los Angeles from B/R’s Kevin Ding:
I would frankly be surprised if Nick Young was on the Lakers' roster at the start of the season. They've been trying to trade him for a while, they're still trying to trade him, they are willing to even buy him out if necessary to move on and really commit to the youth movement and let D'Angelo Russell do his thing.
He’s been a joke for the last couple of years, but the 31-year-old has been productive before. He’s two years removed from shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc and averaging 18 points a game. Gerald Green signed on earlier this summer to be the reclamation project du jour, but trading for Young does provide some potential cap relief if he’s eventually waived. Here’s newest CelticsBlog writer, Keith Smith, on a deal involving James Young and R.J. Hunter for Nick Young:
The Celtics would save about $800k for this season if they waived and stretched Young by 8/31. If they waived/stretched Young after 8/31, his full 16-17 salary counts on the books, and they could stretch the 17-18 salary over 3 years. The difference is that before 8/31 a team can waive/stretch Young over 5 years (2 years left on his deal x 2 + 1 season = 5). After 8/31 they can only do 3 years (1 year left x 2 + 1 = 3).
In case you were wondering, in a waive/stretch scenario Young's player option is given to him as guaranteed salary, since he would not be voluntarily opting out of that last season.
The longer-term savings would be figured by the years that Young/Hunter have left on the books and if Boston would or wouldn't pick up their team options on their rookie-scale deals or not. Young has this year and a team option for 17-18. Hunter has this year and team options for 17-18 and 18-19.
Personal opinion: they should stay away. The savings of $800k isn't worth giving up even a minimum prospect like Hunter. I'd rather just waive Holland and Young (who I would not stretch since they should just eat the whole deal now vs. taking on future cap hits) and move on. And there is always the chance they can salary dump Young on a team and not have to eat anything.
For what it’s worth, the trade restrictions for Ben Bentil and Demetrius Jackson are lifted on August 26th. So yeah, Nick Young still stays nuclear. The Celtics shouldn’t get near this mess for all the conditional first- and second-rounders in the world, but they’ve still got their own roster issues to deal with. There are vets out there in the final year of their contracts that could interest the Celtics in this kind of trade. Could Danny pry away Tony Allen from Memphis? Are Nick Collison or Anthony Morrow available out of OKC? Maybe P.J. Tucker isn’t in Phoenix’s future plans? In about six weeks, the Celtics will enter training camp with 18 players under contract, and they’ll need to whittle that number down to 15. It’ll come down to who can make shots, who can defend, and who can help their teammates. Snapchatters need not apply.