Thaddeus Young is believed to be leaning toward turning down his player option worth nearly $10.222MM for next season, according to Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com. There were conflicting narratives on the matter earlier this month, but Nets GM Billy King said recently that he sees Young as a building block and wants him back with the team regardless of what he does with his option. King said the same of Brook Lopez, and Stein and Mazzeo second earlier reports from Fred Kerber of the New York Post and Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that Lopez is likely to opt out. Kerber and Beck indicated that Lopez is also likely to re-sign with Brooklyn, though Stein and Mazzeo don’t make that same point.
Young said at the beginning of the month that agent Jim Tanner suggested that he opt in and take advantage of a surging salary cap in the summer of 2016. However, a source close to Young told SB Nation’s Jake Fischer around the same time that the former 12th overall pick had strong interest in testing free agency, and he presumably meant this year. Young said at the time that his choice would be influenced by Lopez’s decision regarding his own option, worth more than $16.744MM.
Young has nonetheless made it clear on multiple occasions that he likes playing for the Nets, who acquired him at the deadline for Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves obliged Young’s trade request after he told them he didn’t intend to pick up the option to stay in Minnesota. It appears he’s thought much harder about the idea of opting in ever since such a decision meant he would instead be staying with the Nets, though the lure of free agency this summer may well be too strong for the veteran who just finished his eighth season and turns 27 in June.