The Brooklyn Nets traded forward Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers on June 23 in exchange for the draft rights to Caris LeVert—Indiana's 20th overall pick in this year's draft—and a future second-round pick. The Nets announced the news on Thursday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported the news on June 23.
Young, 28, had a strong season for the Nets, averaging 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds in 33.0 minutes per game. The Nets were dreadful, however, finishing 21-61 season, prompting a full rebuild.
One possibility for the Nets coming into this summer was that the team would look to undergo that process through free agency, when a number of talented players—led by Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant—could hit the market.
Young's trade comes as a bit of a surprise, as he and Brook Lopez seemed to be the two players on the roster that would be most appealing for incoming free agents to play with and build a championship roster around in Brooklyn.
Plus, the Nets should have somewhere in the vicinity of $40 million in cap space this summer, per Spotrac, so it's hard to imagine that cutting ties with Young—who was under contract for three more years and was set to make a fairly reasonable $12 million in 2016-17—was purely a financial decision.
It was a wildly disappointing season in Brooklyn, however, so perhaps the team's front office simply felt it was time to start cleaning house and putting together a new core. One thing that became abundantly clear in Brooklyn this season was that the current mix of players simply wasn't cut out to compete with the top teams in the NBA.
For Indiana, meanwhile, the deal continues what has already been a busy offseason.
The Pacers already acquired guard Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade on June 22, according to ESPN.com. The team is clearly looking to build around Paul George with talented, veteran players, and the additions of Teague and Young should bolster the Pacers significantly as they look to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Young will likely step in as the team's starter at power forward immediately, and he'll play alongside the young and talented Myles Turner.
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