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Lakers News: Latest Surrounding Free-Agent Workouts, Nick Young's Flop and More

Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 21, 2014

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18: Nick Young #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks on November 18, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Don't look now, but the Los Angeles Lakers are on a winning streak. All right, so it's only a two-game streak, but every team needs to start somewhere, right? With the Lakers now closer to full strength, it's clear this team has enough talent to make a run and possibly get something good going this season.

Still, there are some missing pieces to the puzzle due to the season-long losses of forward Julius Randle and guard Steve Nash. Well, there's been some recent news on that front, as well as some talk regarding Nick Young's warning from the Association and a surprise tribute to Jeremy Lin.

What's being said about these recent developments, and how do they affect the Lakers going forward? Let's take a look.

Latest on Lakers Workouts

Jan 7, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Jodie Meeks (20) defends Dallas Mavericks point guard Gal Mekel (33) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 110-97. Meeks leads his team with 24 points. Man
USA TODAY Sports

There has been plenty of talk regarding which players the Lakers will be bringing in to fill empty roster spots. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders was the first to tweet several names rumored to be heading to Los Angeles for workouts:

Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA

Source confirms that the Lakers will work out free agents Gal Mekel, Jordan Hamilton and Dwight Buycks in addition to Tyrus Thomas tomorrow.

Obviously, not all four players will be joining the team, but it was difficult to gauge which were front-runners in the eyes of Byron Scott and Co. On Thursday, Shams Charania of RealGM shed some light on the topic:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Los Angeles Lakers will match up two free agent PGs -- Dwight Buycks and Gal Mekel -- for second workout Friday, league sources tell RealGM.

So, Dwight Buycks and Gal Mekel were apparently the top two performers who earned second workouts. With one of these two players seemingly the favorite to join the team, one thing becomes clear: The added depth will come at point guard rather than power forward.

It's difficult to tell whether Buycks or Mekel has the upper hand right now, but the Lakers need to decide if they would rather have the facilitating ability of Mekel or the aggressiveness of Buycks. The smart money is on Mekel.

Nick Young's Flop

Nov 18, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young (0) reacts after making a basket in the fourth quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Lakers won 114-109. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

According to NBA.com, Young has received a warning from the NBA for flopping. The swingman is always one for theatrics, but this time, he may have gone a little too far. At full speed, it doesn't exactly look like a flop, but when you take a closer look, you see that Young hits the deck without being touched.

This Vine from K L Chouinard is some pretty telling evidence:

Luckily, the result of that nontouch by Kyle Korver was simply a warning; however, Young must be careful going forward. After all, the Lakers are a far superior team with the forward on the court, and that has been evident, as Los Angeles is 2-0 since his return.

Young had this to say about his return to action, via Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding:

KEVIN DING @KevinDing

Swag, according to @NickSwagyPYoung: "I leave a presence. I'm like Michael Jackson, Prince, all those other guys."

There's no doubt Young is one of the Lakers' most valuable players. In just two games this season, he's averaging 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals off the bench. Staying in the Association's good graces will be key for Young to remain on the court and continue his stellar play. Let's hope that bad flop was a one-time thing.

Jeremy Lin Tribute

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives with the ball against Patrick Beverley #2 of the Houston Rockets during their game at the Toyota Center on November 19, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets may have been a little freaked out by Lin's strong performance against the Atlanta Hawks, as the guard went 6-of-7 from the floor for 15 points, adding 10 assists for a stellar double-double. As a result, the team pulled out all the stops to throw Lin off his game Wednesday.

Despite Lin's checkered past with Houston, the Rockets decided to honor the guard with a video tribute on their scoreboard in the middle of the first quarter, and the home crowd cheered for the former player, according to Chris Baldwin of CultureMap Houston.

Ding's Instagram featured a picture of the tribute:

The end result was Lin's worst performance of the season. The guard shot 1-of-5 from the floor, scoring three points and adding four assists, one block, one steal and five turnovers. Luckily, the rest of the team picked up the slack, and the Lakers left Houston with a win.

Before Lin's stint in Houston, he played 29 games with the Golden State Warriors and 35 games with the New York Knicks. Will we see both of those teams paying tribute to the guard when the Lakers come to town? It isn't likely, but it would sure be an interesting strategy.

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