Nets trade Thaddeus Young to Pacers for No. 20 pick: Takeaways, grades
Thaddeus Young is on the move again
The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to trade forward Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for the No. 20 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, plus a future second-rounder, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Nets re-signed Young to a four-year, $50 million contract last year, and he has a player option for the 2018-19 season. The Pacers will look significantly different under new coach Nate McMillan after this and trading George Hill for Jeff Teague on Wednesday.
The deal won't be official until July, per The Vertical's Bobby Marks, so Indiana will pick for Brooklyn in the draft.
Let's grade the trade:
Nets acquire No. 20 pick, future second-rounder:
Brooklyn lost a solid player, but this is a good move. The franchise is in the early stages of a difficult rebuild, and Young is 28 years old, entering his prime. This justifies the decision to re-sign him last summer, as the Nets were in deep draft-pick debt and they needed to find a way to get into the first round.
General manager Sean Marks is prioritizing player development, and that means that the team needs players to develop. Before this deal, here was the list of Brooklyn's young guys under contract: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and Sean Kilpatrick.
This might not be considered a great draft, but it is a fairly deep one. The difference between the kind of player you find late in the lottery and the ones Marks will be choosing from at No. 20 will probably be minimal. This move indicates that he has zeroed in on a few targets at that spot. It also gives him about $50 million to play with in free agency.
When Marks took the job, it was clear that bringing the Nets to respectability would be a multi-year process. There was no point in keeping Young around for that. He has been a solid professional throughout his tenure in Brooklyn, but the franchise is better off with a prospect. This would be easier to grade if we knew who would be available at No. 20, but for now ...
Pacers acquire Thaddeus Young:
Indiana is in a totally different position, trying to climb the Eastern Conference ladder. The Pacers are choosing immediate help over taking on another project, and they have wanted a true stretch 4 for years. Young fits if they want to play faster under McMillan, and he is a nice complement to their new core of Teague, Paul George and Myles Turner. They are in danger of losing Solomon Hill in free agency, so they had to get a versatile forward somehow.
In a vacuum, this is an extremely smart move for Indiana. Draft picks are more valuable than ever, but so are effective veterans on cost-controlled contracts. The Pacers will have Young for at least the next two years, and he should help them remain a great defensive team while they try to put more emphasis on offense. You could do a lot worse with a No. 20 pick.
In the big picture, though, it's unclear where exactly Indiana is going. It's difficult to retool rather than rebuild, but did replacing Hill with Teague actually make the Pacers better? Does Young make them a real contender in the East? Indiana has some more work to do with about $15 million in cap room, and it wouldn't be surprising if president Larry Bird puts Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles on the trade block.
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