Nets begin rebuild by dealing Young
Reliable Power Forward Reportedly Sent to Indy for First-Round Pick
Any major renovation or rebuilding project usually requires a reassessment of the foundation. The Brooklyn Nets began their overhaul Thursday afternoon, when general manager Sean Marks reportedly traded one of his two “foundation pieces”, power forward Thaddeus Young, to the Indiana Pacers for the 20th overall selection in Thursday night’s draft at Downtown’s Barclays Center.
Young, who averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in his first full season in Brooklyn last year after being acquired from Minnesota for Kevin Garnett at the 2015 trade deadline, was one of the only Nets who actually lived in our fair borough, taking up residence in Brooklyn Heights. However, Marks was eager to get the Nets back into the first round of the draft, a right they lost until at least 2019 due to the “blockbuster deal” former GM Billy King orchestrated with the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2013 for Garnett and Paul Pierce.
With the two future Hall of Famers long gone, and the Nets bereft of top young prospects, Marks pulled the trigger on the deal for Indiana’s first-rounder and a future protected second-round selection, according to Yahoo! Sports. Young has just under $39 million and three years remaining on the contract he inked last summer with the Nets, who insisted that he and former All-Star center Brook Lopez would be the foundation pieces for this franchise as it pursues its first-ever NBA title.
New head coach Kenny Atkinson was effusive in his praise of Young after assuming the post last month, even going so far as to call the 6-foot-8 Louisiana native, “My guy.” Marks was immediately pressed about whether or not Young and/or Lopez could be used as trade chips to get the Nets back into the first round during the same presser.
“I’m certainly not looking to trade them,” Marks said at the team’s training facility in Industry City. “What I said before is you have to be fluid. You never know what’s going to come your way. I hope that they’re part of this. They’re both terrific people. They’re both competitive people and I hope to maximize their talents.”
Apparently, the situation has officially become fluid. Now, Marks can add the 20th pick to Brooklyn’s second-round, 55th overall selection, giving them two cracks at finding a player that fits into the mold of what the new GM is trying to build here. Young, who intimated back in May that Marks had not only informed him he was not on the trading block but was employing him as a potential recruiter of free agents, has yet to comment on the deal, which was expected to become official prior to or during Thursday’s draft.
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