Report: Nets trade Thaddeus Young to Pacers for No. 20 pick, second-rounder

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The Nets wouldn’t have leaked that they’re trading Thaddeus Young for the highest first-rounder possible unless they knew they could get one.

They got one.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Pacers are using their cap space now rather than waiting for free agency – a wise plan for a small-market team in a year with a weak free agent class and tons of teams with cap space. They traded for Jeff Teague and will reportedly try to renegotiate and extend his contract, raising his 2016-17 salary.

Now, they add Young, a versatile forward who slides between Myles Turner (or Ian Mahinmi if he re-signs and holds off Turner another year) and Paul George. It’s a solid fit and moves the team in the offensive direction Larry Bird wanted to go.

Still, this was a fairly high price to pay. This draft is weak from No. 3 through the lottery, but the relative value begins to pick up again in the 20s. With four years of cheap salary, first-rounders are more valuable than ever.

The Pacers are better equipped to win now, but they’re still a marginal team in the Eastern Conference playoff field. Is that slight upgrade in standing worth a long-term asset? Depends on your priorities.

The Nets want to get younger, and they do that. They desperately need young players with upside.

This also makes Brooklyn worse in the short term, which benefits the Celtics. They own swap rights on the Nets’ 2017 first-rounder.