- Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com
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The signings were merely a formality, as the team had already reached agreements with both Young and Kelly in the last several weeks while general manager Mitch Kupchak attempted to fill out the roster for next season through free agency.
"When Nick became a free agent in June, I expressed hope that we would be able to bring him back on a contract that was in the best interest of both the Lakers and himself, and I am proud to say we were able to do so," Kupchak said in a statement. "Nick was a bright spot for us last season, and we are happy to retain such a skilled player who is committed to being a part of what we are building as a franchise."
Young signed a four-year, $21.5 million deal with a player option on the fourth year. The Lakers used part of their "room exception" to sign Kelly to a two-year deal worth approximately $3.5 million. The new contracts represent a nice raise for both Young and Kelly who made approximately $1.2 million and $500,000, respectively, while with the Lakers last season.
Young had been on the Lakers' radar ever since he played high school basketball in Reseda, Calif. followed by college ball at USC. Kelly was a second-round pick by the Lakers, taken with the No. 48 selection out of Duke University last June.
Despite the Lakers going just 27-55 in both Young and Kelly's maiden season with the team, they made enough of an individual impact to convince L.A. management to keep them in the fold moving forward.
"When we extended a qualifying offer to Ryan in June, we fully expected him to be a part of our future," Kupchak said in a statement. "Ryan did everything we asked of him as a rookie and showed great promise and potential. After rehabbing an injury last summer, he will have the benefit of a full offseason regimen and training camp for the first time in his NBA career, and we anticipate further development as a result."
Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points per game to lead the Lakers. Kelly averaged 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game, and started 25 contests while appearing in 59 total games.
The signings kicked off what figures to be a busy stretch for the Lakers, as they also plan to welcome Ed Davis, Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer to L.A. with introductory press conferences later on in the week.
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