Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird evidently liked the addition of a proven inside player as opposed to taking a chance on a rookie with the 20th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.
One day after a reported three-team deal that landed point guard Jeff Teague, the Pacers acquired forward Thaddeus Young from the Brooklyn Nets for the first-round selection as well as a projected future second-round pick. The trade first reported by The Vertical and then confirmed by several media outlets.
Both trades won’t be official until July, so the Pacers are expected to be picking for the Nets at No. 20.
Young, 6-8 and 221, joins a front line with three-time All-Star Paul George and forward/center Myles Turner, named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team last season. Bird has reiterated his desire for the Pacers to play more up-tempo, but the team struggled at times on the boards regardless of style last season.
The Pacers should get the inside help needed from Young, who is entering his 10th NBA season but is just 28. He averaged 15.1 points and 9 rebounds last season. He’s averaged 13.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in his career.
The Nets were obviously looking to shed his salary — Young will earn $14.1 million next season, then $14.7 million in 2017-18 and has a $13.7 million player option for 2018-19.
Young tweeted: “Looking forward to new journeys with the @Pacers and the fans. Can't wait to get started.”
Young started his NBA career at 19 as the 12th overall pick by Philadelphia in 2007. He played for the 76ers until 2014, was traded to Minnesota in a three-team deal and then dealt yet again to the Nets in 2015.
Teague, an Indianapolis native, was acquired in exchange for sending another Indianapolis native, guard George Hill, to the Utah Jazz, who gave up the 12th overall pick to Atlanta.
The Pacers finished 45-37, earned the seventh playoff seed and lost in the first round in a tight seven-game series with the second-seeded Toronto Raptors last season.
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