The Indiana Pacers‘ 2016 season doesn’t begin for quite some time. So, there will not be much news about the team until then. As a result, it is time to preview the Pacers’ players who will play key roles in 2016. It is Thaddeus Young‘s turn today.
The Indiana Pacers’ lineup this coming season will feature some new faces. Amongst some of those new faces is Thaddeus Young.
Young, 28, was drafted 12th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2007 NBA Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets and now the Pacers.
Pacers team president Larry Bird acquired Young last month when he traded the team’s 20th selection in the 2016 NBA Draft and a future 2nd round pick to the Nets in exchange for young. Many saw the trade as an absolute steal given the fact that the Pacers were getting a player who averaged 15.1 points per game in exchange for a late-round selection in a rather weak draft class.
Perhaps Young’s best year came during the 2013 season with the 76ers, to which he averaged 17.9 points, 6.0 rebound and 2.3 assists through 79 games.
After losing veteran center Ian Mahinmi to the Washington Wizards in this year’s free agency period, expect the Pacers to have second-year player Myles Turner starting at the center position, with Young starting at the four.
While it has been speculated as to whether or not Young will either start for the Pacers or not after the team’s signing of Al Jefferson, expect Jefferson to come off of the bench for the team — meaning that Young will likely keep his spot in the starting rotation.
In terms of minutes, it would be foolish for head coach Nate McMillan to not have Young on the floor just as much as any of his other starters. It is likely that Young will see a great deal of playing time on the floor.
Production wise, the 28-year-old forward should fit in perfectly with a Pacers team who is serious this time about playing small, fast-paced basketball. During Frank Vogel’s tenure in Indiana, the Pacers were always known for their hard-nosed defense — something that both Bird and McMillan are trying to steer away from.
Now, the Pacers aren’t trying to get rid of their defense completely, but more so trying to implement smaller lineups with hopes of running an efficient offense — something that a player like Young certainly helps the chances of.
With young likely being a full-time starter for the Pacers this season, McMillan should expect to see averages of at least 11 points and five rebounds from his newest forward. While Young is a proven scorer, it could be more difficult for any one player on this revamped Pacers team to take the bulk of the scoring load with players like Paul George, Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis in the starting rotation as well.
Young is a great addition to a team that could definitely use his services, and it should be interesting to see how he produces for Bird and the Indiana Pacers in 2016.
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