Will Thaddeus Young Test Free Agent Market?
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INDIANAPOLIS – Will the Pacers be searching for a new starting power forward this summer?
It sounds like they might be, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that Thaddeus Young is “seriously contemplating” turning down his $13.7 million player option for next season.
If Young did decline his player option, he would become a free agent in a relatively week pool of FAs this summer. Although, the vast majority of teams are pretty cap strung this summer, so that could complicate how the market will look for a guy like Young.
Even though both the Pacers and Young have expressed a desire to remain together, this situation always seemed more likely to play out longer than Cory Joseph, who exercised his player option the week after the Pacers’ season ended.
Young turns 30 years old next week, so he knows that his time is ticking on truly cashing in.
Could Young and his representation believe that after a nice season of averaging of 13.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, along with playing all 82 games, there’s some leverage there to seek out a multi-year deal by testing out the market?
And that team could still be the Pacers.
Indiana is one of the very few playoff teams with some cap flexibility this summer. Just because Young declines his player option doesn’t eliminate the Pacers from wanting to throw out a 2 or 3-year deal for Young.
The Pacers have loved what Young has offered them these past two seasons, but they must weigh how much they want to invest in the 11-year veteran.
If the market is too competitive for Young, would the Pacers back out, electing to try other options at the power forward spot next season?
The staff remains very high on the potential of T.J. Leaf.
Kevin Pritchard has often thrown out the idea of playing Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner together more next season.
And, of course, the Pacers could make their own move in free agency to find a younger, perhaps more consistent shooting, player at the 4-position.
When Pritchard and the Pacers began this offseason, they knew the domino of decisions began with Young.
Well that domino appears to be teetering a bit with a decision from Young needed by the end of June.