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Lakers let stretch deadline pass on Nick Young

The Lakers are reportedly willing to waive Nick Young if they can’t trade him.

They just didn’t do it yesterday.

The Lakers let the Aug. 31 deadline to stretch a player’s 2016-17 salary pass with Young still on the roster. He’ll count $5,443,918 against the cap this season.

This was the wise move, because the Lakers probably don’t need any extra cap flexibility this year. Better to eat Young’s salary now than deal with portions of it in 2021.

It also leaves open the possibility, however negligible, they can trade Young and remove his salary from the books entirely.

In the far more likely event the Lakers can’t trade Young and still want him off the roster, they can discuss a buyout. Considering his dismal play, age (31) and affinity for Los Angeles, he probably shouldn’t and wouldn’t give the team a discount in his exit.

That would leave two possibilities the Lakers could execute before – or even during – the season. Here’s how Young’s cap hit would be applied in each:

Waive and stretch:

  • 2016-17: $5,443,918
  • 2017-18: $1,889,556
  • 2018-19: $1,889,556
  • 2019-20: $1,889,556

Waive without stretching:

  • 2016-17: $5,443,918
  • 2017-18: $5,668,667

It just depends how much the Lakers value cap space in 2017 relative to 2018 and 2019. They’re probably talking to agents to gauge interest and make that determination.

But after letting yesterday’s deadline pass, it became certain a little extra flexibility this season was not the priority.