Thaddeus Young

Pacers Notes: Young, Sabonis, Turner, Future

While many saw the Thunder’s acquisition of Paul George for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo as a heist for the ages, Pacers forward Thaddeus Young has a differing viewpoint, Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star writes.

Sabonis posted 16 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting in Wednesday’s season-opener against the Nets. Indiana defeated Brooklyn 140-131 and Young — after watching Sabonis’ performance — feels the team made out well in the trade.

“Honestly,” Young said, “I think we stole him from them.” 

Sabonis, selected 11th overall by the Magic last season, was acquired by the Thunder in a draft night deal with Orlando. He did not see as much improvement as he would have liked last season, averaging 5.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 81 games. However, playing for the rebuilding Pacers will give him that opportunity. Whether or not Sabonis can have a George-like impact on Indiana remains to be seen.

Check out other news surrounding the Pacers:

  • Pacers center Myles Turner has been diagnosed with a concussion, the team announced. He missed yesterday’s game against the Trail Blazers and will miss tonight’s contest in Miami against the Heat.
  • Pacers owner Herb Simon discussed a succession plan for the team once he is no longer in charge of the team, Gregg Doyle of The Indianapolis Star writes. Simon’s 53-year-old son, Steve, is likely to take over the team. He also spoke in-depth about the future of the team, including his thoughts on Paul George’s departure.



Eastern Rumors: Jefferson, Dedmon, Pacers, MCW

The roster spot of Cavs veteran forward Richard Jefferson is in jeopardy, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd. The signing of Dwyane Wade gives the Cavs 16 fully guaranteed contracts, along with Kay Felder’s partial guarantee. Even if Felder is traded or released, the Cavs will have to rid themselves of a guarantee contract and Jefferson is a likely candidate, Lloyd continues. Jefferson, 37, has a $2.5MM contract but if he’s released it will cost the club approximately $10.5MM in luxury taxes since it is a repeat offender, Lloyd points out. A second-round pick may have to be packaged to move Jefferson, Lloyd adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Center Dewayne Dedmon probably won’t be with the Hawks beyond this season but he can help them in the short term, as Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains. Dedmon, who played with the Spurs last season, will make $6MM this season with the Hawks and holds a $6.3MM player option for next season. But Dedmon would probably benefit from testing the market again if he has a solid season, Cunningham continues. He’s adept at rolling to the basket in the pick-and-roll and he’s efficient in transition but needs to cut down on his fouls, Cunningham adds.
  • The Pacers will start Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo at guard, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic at forward, and Myles Turner at center in their preseason opener on Wednesday, coach Nate McMillan told Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star.  The surprise on the second unit, as Brown notes, is forward Damien Wilkins. The 37-year-old hasn’t played in the league since the 2012/13 season. He’s signed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.
  • Hornets backup guard Michael Carter-Williams expects to be cleared for contact early next week, he told the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell. Carter-Williams received platelet-rich plasma injections in both knees to promote healing of patella tears, Bonnell continues. He’s been restricted to noncontact drills during the first week of training camp.

Pacers Notes: George, Bird, Young, Gibson, Turner

Paul George wasn’t happy with Indiana’s trade deadline strategy. In a video interview with, George said he “thought he’d be in the loop a little more” with the team’s approach. “I kind of was on the ropes just like you guys were, on what was about to happen.” George said to the press. “It’s kind of a dark moment of uncertainty. That was the frustrating part.”

George was featured prominently in rumors right up until the deadline, being connected to the Nuggets, Celtics, and Hawks. Ultimately, Larry Bird was content to “swat away all pitches,” though it appears they didn’t communicate this to George. Paul’s comments to provide the latest indication that he may decline his 2018/19 player option in favor of testing the open market.

More from Indiana…

  • Bobby Marks and Adrian Wojnarowski discussed Indiana’s deadline strategy on the latest edition of The Vertical podcast (Twitter link). The Pacers had discussions regarding Taj Gibson, per Marks and Wojnarowski, but were reluctant to surrender a first-round pick for only an “incremental” improvement on an expiring contract.
  • Thaddeus Young will make his return from a wrist injury tonight against the Grizzlies, Nate Taylor of Indy Star Sports reports (Twitter link). Young’s return is a promising sign, but the 28-year-old may be playing through pain in the early stages. “It’s still a little sore,” Young told Jordan J Wilson of Indy Star Sports. “I think it’s a day-to-day thing about the pain threshold. Right now, it’s sore and stiff, but I’m continuing to go out there with my guys and trying to get myself back onto the floor.”
  • Gregg Doyel of Indy Star Sports was critical of Larry Bird’s performance throughout the trade deadline. Bird “didn’t do anything to make them [Indiana] better in the future,” and didn’t surround George with additional pieces. Doyel doesn’t blame George for having hard feelings after “being shown a lack of respect” from the team’s front office.
  • The Lakers’ new front office boss, Magic Johnson, knows “full well” of George’s interest in signing with L.A. after the season, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. Nate Taylor of Indy Star Sports elaborated on the Lakers’ connection to the Pacers’ deadline activity, describing the “mounting pressure” on the team to succeed in 2016/17; potentially George’s last in a Pacers uniform. In addition to Bird, coach Nate McMillan and Myles Turner will face pressure down the stretch. McMillan will be relied upon to better motivate his players, while Turner’s growth could determine the Pacers’ ceiling in the postseason.

Players With Incentive Bonuses For 2016/17

According to Bobby Marks of The Vertical, there are 33 players around the NBA who can potentially earn incentive bonuses this season based on their own durability or performance, or based on how their team performs. Although Marks doesn’t identify all 33 players who have incentives included in their 2016/17 contracts, he discusses over half of them, passing along a number of interesting tidbits about those potential bonuses. Here are some of the highlights:

Minutes/games played bonuses:

NBA bonuses are deemed either “likely” or “unlikely,” using the previous season’s statistics as a benchmark, so if a player didn’t appear in many games during the previous year, a team can include a games-played benchmark and call it an unlikely incentive. For instance, John Henson‘s contract with the Bucks features incentives if he plays 60 games or 75 games this season. He appeared in just 57 contests in 2015/16, so neither of those marks is viewed as likely.

Miles Plumlee (Bucks), Luis Scola (Nets), Greivis Vasquez (Nets), and Deron Williams (Mavericks) are among the other players who have incentives in their deals for games played or started.

Individual statistic bonuses:

The Trail Blazers got creative with Maurice Harkless‘ new contract this summer, including an incentive bonus in the deal that can be triggered based if he keeps his three-point percentage above a certain level. Jeremy Lin, meanwhile, not only has a three-point percentage incentive, but also has bonuses linked to assists, turnovers, and threes and free throws attempted per 36 minutes.

Individual achievement bonuses:

Players like Bismack Biyombo (Magic), Evan Fournier (Magic), and Will Barton (Nuggets) have incentives related to their individual performances as well, but they’re related to awards and honors, rather than raw statistics. Biyombo gets a bonus if he makes the NBA’s All-Defensive team, Fournier gets some extra money for an All-Star appearance, and Barton would get $250K if he wins the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Of course, some of these incentives are more realistic than others. For instance, Thaddeus Young (Pacers) probably shouldn’t be counting on the $500K incentive bonus that he’d earn if he wins the league’s MVP award.

Team performance bonuses:

Several players, including Fournier, Jon Leuer (Pistons), and Joe Ingles (Jazz) have bonuses related to their teams making the playoffs. Many of those postseason incentives are tied to another condition. For example, for Taj Gibson to earn his bonus from the Bulls, he must appear in at least 60 games, play in at least 75% of Chicago’s playoff games, and average 25 or more minutes per game during the regular season.

Some players also have incentives linked to their teams’ win total, and once again, some are more attainable than others. For example, Nikola Mirotic could earn an extra $800K, but he’d need the Bulls to win 65+ games, so there’s a good chance his shot at that bonus will disappear about halfway through the season.

Be sure to check out the full breakdown from Marks for many more details on players who could earn incentive bonuses in 2016/17.

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, Young, Bayless, Raptors

Jordan Mickey, James Young, Demetrius Jackson, R.J. Hunter and Ben Bentil are the players on the bubble for the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of reports in a slideshow presentation. The fate of Mickey and Jackson may hinge on whether the Celtics decide to carry 14 or 15 players, while Young has helped his cause with a strong showing early in training camp, Blakely continues. Hunter has struggled with his shot thus far while Bentil, a second-round pick, is likely to fall victim to the team’s frontcourt depth, Blakely adds.
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
  • Thaddeus Young was misled by the Nets prior to be shipped to the Pacers in a draft-day trade, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders writes. The veteran power forward was told he was part of the team’s plans, then shortly afterward got dealt. “Initially when the summer had started, I was told by Brooklyn that they were looking toward the future and that it was going to take some time, and I was going to be around for it,” Young told Brigham. “Then, all of a sudden you’re hearing that you’re being shopped.”
  • Point guard Jerryd Bayless could miss the start of the season because of a wrist injury, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The Sixers signed Bayless, an unrestricted free agent, to a three-year, $27MM contract to solidify their point guard spot.
  • Raptors coach Dwane Casey is already showing signs of frustration with his team three games into the preseason, Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun reports. Casey believes the team’s defense, in particular, has been shabby. “We are way behind defensively, way behind on both ends of the floor,” he told Ganter and other members of the media.

Central Notes: Middleton, Mirotic, Dunleavy, Pacers

The BucksKhris Middleton had successful surgery Wednesday on his ruptured left hamstring, the team announced on its website. Middleton is expected to be out of action for six months following the procedure, which was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The fifth-year swingman, who signed a five-year, $70MM deal last summer, had his best season in 2015/16, averaging a career-high 18.2 points, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 79 games.

There’s more tonight from the Central Division:

  • Nikola Mirotic seems to have the edge over Taj Gibson to be the Bulls‘ starting power forward, writes Mark Schanowski of CSNChicago. With the rest of the starting lineup seemingly set, power forward is Chicago’s most interesting position battle of the preseason. Schanowski believes Mirotic’s ability to stretch the floor in an otherwise shaky shooting lineup gives him the edge. Bobby Portis may be squeezed out of minutes unless he can earn time as a backup center.
  • After being traded from the Bulls to the Cavaliers over the summer, Mike Dunleavy says his new Cleveland teammates have a work ethic far beyond what he saw in Chicago, relays Chris Fedor of Dunleavy admired the humility the Cavs showed despite their success of the past two seasons and noted that the stars are willing to put in extra practice time. “I’ve been on a lot of teams where guys come and go, show up five minutes before practice and leave right after,” he said. “We have our best players here an hour and a half early and stay an hour and a half late. Quite honestly, that’s kind of new to me.”
  • New Pacers coach Nate McMillans nine-man rotation is virtually set, which leaves a lot of young players battling for very few minutes, according to Mark Montieth of NBA.comJeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner will start, with Aaron Brooks, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles and Al Jefferson as regular members of the rotation off the bench. McMillan said he will use 10 players per game if someone else shows they deserve to play, which may give hope to Glenn Robinson III, Joseph Young, Georges Niang, Kevin Seraphin, Lavoy Allen, Rakeem Christmas and Jeremy Evans.

Pacers Notes: Turner, Bird, Scouting

Having Nate McMillan as his head coach should accelerate the development of Pacers big man Myles Turner, states Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. In a video interview, Bucher names Turner as one of the NBA’s young players to watch for next season, and part of the reason is the addition of McMillan, who was hired in May to replace Frank Vogel. Bucher notes that Turner has many qualities similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, whom McMillan helped to develop into an All-Star as head coach of the Trail Blazers nearly a decade ago. Bucher believes Turner will also benefit from an upgrade at point guard, where Jeff Teague was picked up in a trade with the Hawks to replace George Hill. The 20-year-old Turner averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 60 games last season.

There’s more news out of Indiana:

  •  After an offseason spent acquiring offense, the Pacers must prove they can be successful with their new approach, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders.  For about 20 years, Indiana has been a physical, defensive-minded team that won with hard-working overachievers, Greene notes. But team president Larry Bird decided he wanted to build a better offense, which is why Vogel was let go. Bird followed up that move by dealing for Teague and power forward Thaddeus Young, then signing center Al Jefferson to a three-year, $30MM deal in free agency. Teamed with Paul George and Monta Ellis, the Pacers can now put scorers on the floor at every position.
  • The Pacers have named José Luis Galilea as their new overseas talent evaluator, according to Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. He replaces Pete Philo, who left the organization in May. Indiana now has eight full-time scouts and 11 overall.

Central Notes: Pacers, Maker, Drummond, Pistons

The Pacers seem ready to re-emerge as an elite team in the Eastern Conference, claims Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. Indiana made several key additions this summer, swapping George Hill for Jeff Teague in a three-team deal, trading the 20th pick in the draft to Brooklyn for Thaddeus Young and signing free agent center Al Jefferson. The Pacers also have the security of a healthy Paul George, who showed during the season that he was fully recovered from a broken leg in 2014. In addition, Hamilton notes, Indiana has the flexibility for another major move or two this summer. The franchise is about $12MM under the cap and may have a $2.8MM room exception available. Looking ahead, the Pacers could have up to $50MM in cap room next summer if Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles opt out.

There’s more from around the Central Division:

  • The BucksThon Maker grabbed attention in the Las Vegas Summer League with Kevin Garnett-like size and Giannis Antetokounmpo-level speed, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of Many observers were surprised when the Bucks drafted Maker 10th overall, but his athleticism may make that gamble pay off. “We thought he wasn’t afraid and had a little toughness to him,” said GM John Hammond. “That was the key to the draft pick — that we enjoyed him so much as a person and had toughness and wasn’t afraid. You don’t know what is going to go from there.”
  • The Pistons are reaping the benefits of Andre Drummond‘s decision to put off his extension until this summer, writes Keith Langlois of Because Drummond waited on his big-money deal, Detroit had the cap room to trade for Tobias Harris during the season and then sign free agents Jon Leuer, Ish Smith and Boban Marjanovic“We either wouldn’t have been able to do Tobias during the year, or if we had done Tobias, we wouldn’t have been able to add the people we added this summer,” said coach/executive Stan Van Gundy. “It goes to Andre’s character, his true commitment to the Detroit Pistons beyond just getting the contract and [owner Tom Gores’] commitment and his relationship with Andre.”
  • Marjanovic’s three-year, $21MM contract will pay him $7MM each season, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Smith will receive $6MM each year for three seasons (Twitter link), and Leuer’s four-year, $42MM deal starts at $11MM the first season and decreases (Twitter link). He also has $1MM in unlikely incentives.

Pacers Acquire Thaddeus Young From Nets

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 7: The swap sending Young to the Pacers in exchange for the rights to No. 20 overall pick Caris LeVert and a future second-round pick is now official, according to a Nets press release.

JUNE 23: The Pacers have agreed to acquire Thaddeus Young from the Nets in exchange for the No. 20 overall pick in tonight’s NBA draft and a future protected second-rounder, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). The scribe had reported earlier that several Western Conference teams had been aggressively pursuing Young, who Brooklyn was looking to deal to the highest bidder in an effort to land a first round pick, which it nabbed from Indiana in the swap.

This is the second big  move by Indiana in the past two days, with the team landing point guard Jeff Teague from Atlanta in a three-team trade on Wednesday. It certainly appears that team executive Larry Bird is serious about retooling his squad for new coach Nate McMillan.

For Brooklyn, flipping Young for a first-rounder clearly signals that the franchise is shifting into full-rebuild mode. Given the Nets’ lack of talent, it is a bit puzzling why they would give up on Young, who is under contract for three more seasons at a fairly reasonable rate. Young, 28,  is slated to earn $12,078,652 next season, $12,921,348 in 2017/18 and $13,764,045 the final year.

In 73 appearances for Brooklyn this past season, Young averaged 15.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.0 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .514/.233/.644.

Trade Rumors: Butler, LaVine, Russell, Gay

The Bulls and Celtics are still discussing a deal involving Jimmy Butler, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Chicago, which traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks on Wednesday, reportedly wants to draft Providence point guard Kris Dunn, but isn’t enamored with Boston’s latest offer, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).

More trade rumors are heating up as the draft is under way:

  • Another deal the Bulls received came from the Timberwolves, who offered the fifth pick and Zach LaVine, tweets Ian Begley of Minnesota is willing to listen to offers for anyone besides Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, but he doesn’t believe that offer will be enough to land Butler.
  • The Kings have been “heavily engaged in trade talks” with several teams this week and are targeting Lakers‘ point guard D’Angelo Russell, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN. Sacramento is seeking a possible replacement for starting point guard Rajon Rondo, who is headed toward free agency.
  • Before picking up Thaddeus Young in a deal with the Nets today, the Pacers talked to the Kings about Rudy Gay, according to Wojnarowski.
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