Pacers Improve Title Odds With Trade For Thaddeus Young
The Indiana Pacers aren’t sitting on their hands hoping to get better. When Larry Bird didn’t see serious progress with Frank Vogel at the helm, he moved on to a new head coach.
Arrow Pointing Up
When the Pacers weren’t getting enough production from point guard George Hill, the team got in a three-team deal and landed Hawks star point guard, Jeff Teague.
The wheels were already in motion, but Indiana didn’t stop there on Thursday. Instead of hoping that their 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft would turn into a solid player a few years from now, they traded it to the Brooklyn Nets, getting in return a versatile and competitive talent in Thaddeus Young.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) June 23, 2016
State of the Nets
Brooklyn sheds some serious talent and gets a nice asset, but it’s worth wondering if they could have held out for more. They can surely land a solid player with the #20 overall pick, but Young was a steady presence at power forward and he won’t be easy to replace.
Then again, it doesn’t sound like the Nets care about replacing him, or being any good, for that matter. That should lead to a full rebuild for Brooklyn, which should have the team focus their energy on bringing in quality young talent.
The new public stance could also lead to the trading of star center Brook Lopez, but it remains possible the Nets could hold onto him in hopes of building around him. One thing is for sure, however; the Nets are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.
Young and Teague
The addition of Young joins with the Jeff Teague trade to give Indiana two excellent moves on paper – both of which work together to give the team more balance than ever at the point guard and power forward positions.
Teague gives Indiana far more at the point than they ever had in Hill, who was a solid defender but didn’t create much offense and was largely just a spot-up shooter. Teague also provides quality defense and a solid outside shot, but he can create for others and also knows how to attack the rim.
Many feel the Pacers are getting a stretch four in Young, but Young plays more of a mid-range game and can attack the basket. More importantly, he isn’t afraid to get dirty, whether it’s getting in the passing lanes, rebounding or blocking shots. Young can score the ball and he’s a flat out competitor.
Even better, is Young’s presence gives Indiana added depth, as Myles Turner can either play off the bench and boost the team’s bench scoring, or he can shift over as the full-time center. Regardless of what happens with Turner, the team would also have Ian Mahinmi, Jordan Hill and Lavoy Allen as depth, giving them a very strong rotation of bigs.
The Pacers were a playoff team last year and gave the Toronto Raptors fits in a full seven-game series. It is probably safe to say that Paul George is back to superstar status and with major adjustments already with Teague and Young, Indy looks like a team very much on the rise.
That may not mean much in an Eastern Conference where the Cleveland Cavaliers reign supreme, but there should be little doubt that the Pacers will be better. That understanding has their +7500 odds looking like a very interesting bet going into the 2016-17 NBA season – one that could have them pushing for 50+ wins and a top-three seed in the conference.
When the Pacers were at their best, they were tightly knit and playing elite team defense. With Nate McMillan at the helm now, their offense promises to be faster and more efficient, with their defense still sticking around. Teague and Young coming onto the roster promise to help and if Indy can add one more key piece in free agency, all the better.
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