NBA Trades: Indiana Pacers Acquire Thaddeus Young From Brooklyn Nets For Two Draft Picks

According to the Vertical, Thaddeus Young is headed to the Indiana Pacers following a draft-day trade by the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets will reportedly receive the Pacers’ No. 20 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and a future second-round pick in exchange for Young.

Last season, Young averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Nets, who finished with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference at 21-61, and it’s forced the team to rebuild heading into the offseason. Unfortunately, it’s hard to rebuild when a team doesn’t have its first-round pick, which is why the Nets were so desperate to deal Thaddeus in order to get back into the first round.

The Nets would have the No. 3 overall pick except the team traded it to the Boston Celtics in the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce deal. That deal is the biggest reason why the Nets are in this position right now and will continue to be the biggest reason why the franchise hasn’t been able to reach its full potential.

Thaddeus Young was traded to the Nets by the Minnesota Timberwolves for Garnett in February of 2015 prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline. While the deal might sound a bit lopsided at first glance, Thaddeus was in the last year of his deal, and the Timberwolves weren’t going to re-sign him anyways. Young ended up signing a four-year $54 million deal with the Nets last offseason.

As for the Pacers, this is the second trade that Larry Bird has pulled off in the last two days. Just yesterday, ESPN reported that Pacers point guard George Hill was traded to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal involving the Atlanta Hawks. Bird was able to bring back Jeff Teague in the deal, who gives the Pacers a significant upgrade over Hill at point guard.

That means the Pacers have added a double-double machine like Thaddeus Young and a point guard who averaged 15.7 points and 5.9 assists like Teague, both in the prime of their careers, in exchange for Hill and the No. 20 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Not only has Bird done a tremendous job acquiring two talented players, but he also did it while giving up very little in the process.

With the trades for Young and Teague, the Pacers’ starting five includes Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Young, and either Ian Mahinmi or last season’s breakout rookie Myles Turner. Those six players are good enough to put the Pacers in the top two or three seeds in the Eastern Conference and nipping at the heels of the Cleveland Cavaliers for Conference supremacy.

To add more excitement for Pacers fans, Bird still has money to spend in free agency, and he may not be done on the trade market. Recent NBA rumors suggest that the Pacers could be interested in trading Monta Ellis for a more natural shooting guard. Bird signed Ellis last offseason hoping he could fill that role, but he struggled mightily for the Pacers in 2015-16.

The Pacers are looking to improve upon a season that saw the team go 45-37 and finish with the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Indiana was in prime position to pull an upset of the No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs but ended up losing Game 7 89-84, which signaled the firing of head coach Frank Vogel and now the additions of Teague and Thaddeus Young.

Obviously, there’s still a lot of offseason to go, but as it stands, the Pacers should be primed for a much-improved 2016-17 season. Adding Thaddeus Young will have a major impact on the Pacers’ success going forward.

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